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PERSONAL REMINISCENC! 




BEAM STOKER 



PERSONAL 
REMINISCENCES 

OF 

HENRY IRVING 



PERSONAL 

REMINISCENCES 

OF 

HENRY IRVING 

BY 

BRAM STOKER 




VOLUME II 



LONDON 
WILLIAM HEINEMANN 

MCMVI 



Copyright, 1906, by Bram Stoker 
Copyright in the United States of America, 1906, 
by the Macmillan Company 



College 
Library 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

XLIII. IRVING'S PHILOSOPHY OF His ART i 

XLIV. THE RIGHT HON. WILLIAM EWART GLADSTONE . 26 

XLV. THE EARL OF BEACONSFIELD 37 

XLVI. SIR WILLIAM PEARCE, BART 43 

XLVII. STEPNIAK 53 

XLVIII. E. ONSLOW FORD, R.A 59 

XLIX. SIR LAURENCE ALMA-TADEMA, R.A 65 

L. SIR EDWARD BURNE-JONES, BART 73 

LI. EDWIN A. ABBEY, R.A 79 

LIT. J. BERNARD PARTRIDGE 86 

LIII. ROBERT BROWNING 89 

LIV WALT WHITMAN 92 

LV. JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY 112 

LVI. ERNEST RENAN 114 

LVII. HALL CAINE 115 

LVIII. IRVING AND DRAMATISTS 131 

LIX. MUSICIANS 140 

LX. LUDWIG BARNAY 151 

LXI. CONSTANT COQUELIN 157 

LXII. SARAH BERNHARDT 161 

LXIII. GENEVIEVE WARD 167 

LXIV. JOHN LAWRENCE TOOLE 177 

LXV. ELLEN TERRY 190 

LXVI. FRESH HONOURS IN DUBLIN 208 

LXVII. PERFORMANCES AT SANDRINGHAM AND WINDSOR 212 



1181567 



vi CONTENTS 



PAGE 



LXVIII. PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES . . . 229 

LXIX. KNIGHTHOOD 238 

LXX. HENRY IRVING AND UNIVERSITIES .... 244 

LXXI. ADVENTURES 266 

LXXII. BURNING OF THE LYCEUM STORAGE .... 297 

LXXI 1 1. FINANCE 304 

LXXIV. THE TURN OF THE TIDE 321 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

To face 
page 

Irving Making Up. Drawing by Paul Renouard . frontispiece 

Postcard from Mr. Gladstone 28 

Statue of Henry Irving as Hamlet. By E. Onslow Ford, R.A . . 62 

Letter, Walt Whitman to Bram Stoker 97 

J. L. Toole. Drawing by Fred Barnard 177 

Playbill, J. L. Toole and Henry Irving 178 

Cast of " Dearer than Life " 182 

Ellen Terry at 17 190 

Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth. By John Sargent, R.A. . . 204 

Ellen Terry and Dogs 206 

Ellen Terry, 1906 207 

Henry Irving and the Queen. Drawing by Phil May . . . 214 

Portrait of Henry Irving. By McLuer Hamilton .... 241 

Henry Irving, Portrait. By Edwin A . Ward .... 275 



Bram Stoker 



321 



Irving as Philip II. By J. McNeil Whistler 323 

Irving at Sea in 1905 342 

Henry Irving and John Hare. Last photograph taken . . . 352 



XLIII 



IRVING'S PHILOSOPHY OF HIS ART 

The key-stone The scientific process Character The 
Play Stage Perspective Dual Consciousness Indi- 
viduality The True Realism 



IRVING and I were alone together one hot afternoon 
in August 1889, crossing in the steamer from South- 
sea to the Isle of Wight, and were talking of that 
phase of Stage Art which deals with the conception 
and development of character. In the course of 
our conversation, whilst he was explaining to me 
the absolute necessity of an actor's understanding 
the prime qualities of a character in order that he 
may make it throughout consistent, he said these 
words : 

" // you do not pass a character through your 
own mind it can never be sincere ! " 

I was much struck with the phrase, coming as 
it did as the crown of an argument the explana- 
tion of a great artist's method of working out a 
conceived idea. To me it was the embodiment of 
an artistic philosophy. Even in the midst of an 
interesting conversation, during which we touched 
upon many subjects of inner mental working, the 
phrase presented itself as one of endless possi- 

II A 



2 HENRY IRVING 

bilities, and hung as such in my mind. Lest I 
should forget the exact words I wrote them then 
and there in my pocket-book, whence I entered 
them later in my diary. 

I think that if I had interrupted the conversa- 
tion at the above words and asked my friend to 
expound his philosophy and elaborate it, he would 
have been for an instant amused, and on the im- 
pulse of the moment would have deprecated the 
use of such an important word. Men untrained to 
Mental Science and unfamiliar with its terminology 
are apt to place too much importance on abstract, 
wide-embracing terms, and to find the natural flow 
of their true thought interrupted by disconcerting 
fears. His amusement would have been only 
momentary, however. I know now, after familiar 
acquaintance with his intellectual method for over 
a quarter of a century, that with his mental quick- 
ness which was so marked as now and again to 
seem like inspiration he would have grasped the 
importance of the theme as bearing upon the Art to 
which he had devoted himself and to his own part 
in it. And would have tried to explain matters 
as new and relevant subjects, consequences or 
causes, presented themselves. But such an exposi- 
tion would have been must have been confused and 
incomplete. The process of a creative argument is 
a silent and lonely one, requiring investigation and 
guesses ; the following up of clues in the labyrinth 
of thought till their utility or their falsity has been 
proved. The most that a striving mind can do at 
such a time is to keep sight of some main purpose 
or tendency; some perpetual recognition of its 
objective. If in addition the thinker has to keep 



SINCERITY IN ART 3 

eternally and consciously within his purview a lot 
of other subjects bearing on his main idea, each 
with its own attendant distractions and divergencies, 
his argument would to a listener seem but a jumble 
of undigested facts, deductions and imaginings. 
Moreover, it would leave in the mind of the latter 
a belief that the speaker is without any real con- 
viction at all ; a mere groper in the dark. If, on 
the other hand, the man in thinking out his problem 
tries to bear in mind his friend's understanding 
with an eye to his ultimate approval and acceptance 
of his argument and conclusion he is apt to limit 
himself to commonplace and accepted truths. In 
such case his thought is machine-made, and lacks 
the penetrative force which has its origin in in- 
tellectual or psychic fire. A whole history of such 
thought cannot equal a single glimpse or hint of 
an earnest mind working truly. 

As Irving on that pleasant voyage spoke the 
words which seemed to explain his whole intellectual 
method I grasped instinctively the importance of 
the utterance, though the argument for present 
reticence did not present itself in its entirety. 

To me the words became a text of which the 
whole of his work seemed the expounding. From 
him, as an artist, the thought was elementary and 
basic ; explanatory and illuminative. 



II 

To "pass a character through your mind " re- 
quires a scientific process of some kind ; some pro- 
cess which is natural, and therefore consistent, If 



4 HENRY IRVING 

we try to analyse the process we shall find that it 
is in accord with any other alimentative process. 
Nature varies in details, but her intents and objects 
are fixed : to fit and sustain each to its appointed 
task. In the animal or vegetable kingdoms, so in 
the mind of man. The hemlock and the apple take 
the juices of the earth through different processes 
of filtration ; the one to noxious ends, the other 
to beneficence. Hardness and density have their 
purpose in the mechanism of the vegetable world ; 
the wood rejects what the softer and more open 
valves or tissues receive. So too in the world of 
animal life. The wasp and the viper, the cuttle- 
fish and the stinging ray work to different ends 
from the sheep and the sole, the pheasant and the 
turtle. But one and all draw alimentative sub- 
stance from common sources. But he who would 
understand character must draw varying results 
from common causes. And the only engine power- 
ful enough in varying purposes for this duty is the 
human brain. Again, the worker in imagination 
is the one who most requires different types and 
varying methods of development. And still again, 
of all workers in imagination, the actor has most 
need for understanding ; for on him is imposed 
the task of re-creating to external and material 
form types of character written in abstractions. 
It behoves him, then, primarily to understand what 
exactly it is that he has to materialise. To this 
end two forms of understanding are necessary : 
first that which the poet the creator or maker 
of the play, sets down for him ; second the truth 
of the given individual to the type or types which 
he is supposed to represent. This latter implies a 



UNDERSTANDING OF CHARACTER 5 

large knowledge of types ; for how can any man 
judge of the truth of things when to him both 
the type and the instance are strange. Thus it 
happens that an actor should be a judge of char- 
acter ; an understander of those differences which 
discriminate between classes, and individuals of 
the class. This is an actor's study at the begin- 
ning of his work when he is preparing to study 
his Art. 

Let me say at the outset of this branch of my 
subject that I am in it trying to put into words, 
and the words into some sort of ordered sequence, 
that knowledge of his craft which in a long course 
of years Irving conveyed to me. Sometimes the 
conveyance was made consciously ; sometimes un- 
consciously. By words, by inferences, by acting ; 
by what he added to seemingly completed work, 
or by what he omitted after fuller thought or 
experience. One by one, or group by group, these 
things were interesting, though often of seeming 
unimportance ; but taken altogether they go to 
make up a philosophy. In trying to formulate 
this I am not speaking for myself ; I am but 
following so well as I can the manifested wisdom 
of the master of his craft. Here and there I shall 
be able to quote Irving' s exact words, spoken or 
written after mature thought and with mani- 
fest and deliberate purpose. For the rest, I can 
only illustrate by his acting, or at worst by the 
record of the impression conveyed to my own 
mind. 



HENRY IRVING 

III 

We may I think divide the subject thus : 

CHARACTER 

x. The Dramatist's setting out of it 



A. ITS ESSENCE - 



y. Its truth to accepted type 
z. The Player's method of studying 
these two 



B. RETICENCE 

C. ART AND TRUTH 

THE PLAY 

STAGE PERSPECTIVE 

DUAL CONSCIOUSNESS 

INDIVIDUALITY, AND THE KNOWLEDGE OF IT 



IV 

CHARACTER 

A. ITS ESSENCE 

We think in abstractions ; but we live in concre- 
tions. In real life an individual who is not in any 
way distinguishable from his fellows is but a poor 
creature after all and is not held of much account 
by anybody. That law of nature which makes the 
leaves of a tree or the units of any genus, any 
species, any variety all different which in the 
animal or the vegetable world alike makes each 
unit or class distinguishable whilst adhering to the 
type is of paramount importance to man. Tenny- 
son has hammered all this out and to a wonderful 
conclusion in those splendid stanzas of In Memoriam 
LIV to LVI beginning " Oh yet we trust that some- 
how good " to " Behind the veil, behind the veil." 



ESSENCE OF CHARACTER 7 

Let it be sufficient for us to know and accept that 
there can be endless individual idiosyncrasies with- 
out violation of type. To understand these is the 
study of character. The differentia of each indivi- 
dual is an endless and absorbing study, not given 
to all to master. Some at least of this mastery 
is a necessary part of the equipment of an actor. 
Now there is a common saying that " the eyebrow 
is the actor's feature." This is largely true ; but 
there is a double purpose in its truth. In the first 
place the eyebrow is movable at will ; a certain 
amount of exercise can give mobility and control. 
It can therefore heighten expression to a very 
marked degree. But in addition it, when in a 
marked degree, is the accompaniment of a large 
frontal sinus that bony ridge above the eyebrows 
which in the terminology of physiognomy implies 
the power to distinguish minute differences, and so 
is credited with knowledge of " character " the 
difference between one and another; divergencies 
within a common type. With this natural equip- 
ment and the study which inevitably follows 
for powers are not given to men in vain the 
actor can by experience know types, and endless 
variants and combinations of the same. So can 
any man who has the quality. But the actor alone 
has to work out the ideas given to him by this study 
in recognisable material types and differentiated 
individual instances of the same type. 



The dramatist having, whether by instinct or 
reason, selected his type has in the play to give 
him situations which can allow opportunity for the 



8 HENRY IRVING 

expression of his qualities ; words in which he can 
expound the thoughts material to him in the given 
situations ; and such hints as to personal appearance, 
voice and bearing as can assist the imagination of 
a reader. All these things must be consistent ; 
there must be nothing which would show to the 
student falsity to common knowledge. " Do men 
gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles ? " has 
a large application in art, and specially in stage 
art. It is the ignorance or neglect of this eternal 
law which is to my mind the weakness of some 
writers. Instance Ibsen who having shown in some 
character an essential quality through one or two 
acts makes the after action of the character quite 
at variance with it. A similar fault weakens certain 
of the fine work of " Ian Maclaren " when he proceeds 
to explain away in a later story some perfectly 
consistent and understandable quality of mind or 
action in one of his powerful and charming char- 
acter stories. No after-explanation can supersede 
the conviction of innate character. 



Now a dramatist is at perfect liberty to choose 
any type he likes and to deal with his individual 
creations just as he chooses. There is no law 
against it ; however ridiculous it may be, it makes 
no breach of any code in accepted morals. But he 
should for his own sake be consistent ; the char- 
acter should at least be true to itself. It is by 
such qualities that posterity as well as the juries of 
the living judge. The track of literary progress is 
littered with wreckage from breaches of this truth. 



A LESSON FROM THE BLIND 9 

Of this we may be sure : if a character have in 
itself opposing qualities which cannot be recon- 
ciled, then it can never have that unity which 
makes for strength. Therefore the actor who has 
to represent the abstract idea as a concrete reality 
must at the beginning understand the dramatist's 
intention. He can by emphasis of one kind or 
another help to convey the dominant idea. There 
is an exact instance of this from Irving's own work ; 
one which at the same time illustrates how an actor, 
howsoever thoughtful and experienced he may be, 
can learn : For a good many years he had played 
Shy lock to universal praise ; then, all at once, he 
altered it. Altered it in the manner of utterance 
of the first words he speaks : " Three thousand 
ducats, well." He explained it to me when having 
noticed the change I asked him about it. He said 
that it was due to the criticism of a blind man 
I think it was the Chaplain of the American 
Senate, Dr. Milburn. 

" What did he say ? " I asked. He answered 
with a thoughtful smile : 

" He said : ' I thought at first that you were 
too amiable. I seemed to miss the harsh note of 
the usurer's voice ! ' He was quite right ! The 
audience should from the first understand, if one 
can convey it, the dominant note of a character ! " 

This was distinctly in accordance with his own 
theory ; and he always remembered gratefully the 
man who so enlightened him. The incident illus- 
trates one phase of " passing a character through 
one's own mind." When it has gone through this 
process it takes a place as an actual thing a sort 
of clothing of 'the player's own identity with the 



io HENRY IRVING 

attributes of another. This new-seeming identity 
must have at first its own limitations ; the clothing 
does not fit somewhere too tight, elsewhere too 
loose. But at last things become easier. The in- 
dividuality within, being of plastic nature, adapts 
itself by degrees to its surroundings. And then 
for purposes of external expression the mastery is 
complete. 

Experience adds much to this power of mastery. 
When an actor has played many parts he learns 
to express the dominant ideas of various characters 
in simple form, so that each, through a sort of 
artistic metonymy, becomes a type. In fact, as he 
goes on studying fresh characters he gets a greater 
easiness of expression ; he is not creating every time, 
but is largely combining things already created. 
This is true Art. The etymology of the word shows 
that its purpose is rather to join than to create. 
Were it not that each mind must create the units 
which have to be joined, histrionic art would not 
be primarily a creative art. 

In Irving' s own words : 

" It is often supposed that great actors trust 
to the inspiration of the moment. Nothing 
can be more erroneous. There will, of course, 
be such moments when an actor at a white 
heat illumines some passages with a flood of 
imagination (and this mental condition, by the 
way, is impossible to the student sitting in his 
arm-chair) ; but the great actor's surprises are 
generally well weighed, studied, and balanced. 
. . . And it is this accumulation of such 
effects which enables an actor, after many 



EXPRESSION AND SPEECH n 

years, to present many great characters with 
remarkable completeness." 

And again when he insists upon the intention of 
effect : 

"It is necessary that the actor should learn 
to think before he speaks. . . . Let him re- 
member, first that every sentence expresses a 
new thought, and, therefore, frequently demands 
a change of intonation ; secondly, that the 
thought precedes the word. Of course, there 
are passages in which thought and language 
are borne along by the streams of emotion and 
completely intermingled. But more often it 
will be found that the most natural, the most 
seemingly accidental effects are obtained when 
the working of the mind is seen before the 
tongue gives it words." 

I well remember at one of our meetings in 1876 
when after dinner we had some " recitations," ac- 
cording to the custom of that time. Irving was 
very complimentary to my own work because I 
anticipated words by expression, particularly by 
the movement of my eyes. 

z 

So far, the study of natural types and the accept- 
ance of the dramatist's ideas. But next the actor 
has to learn how to show best the development 
of character. It is not to the purpose of a high- 
grade play that each character can be at the start 
as though labelled thus or thus. As the story 
unfolds itself the new situations bring into view 
qualities hitherto unknown ; there has been here- 



12 HENRY IRVING 

tofore no necessity for knowing them. Here it is 
that the dramatist must not make contradictions. 
He may show opposing qualities such make the 
struggles of life and passions which it is the duty 
of the drama to portray ; but the opposing forces, 
though they may clash, must not deny each other's 
very existence. Honour and baseness do not 
synchronously coexist ; neither do patriotism and 
treachery ; nor truth and falsehood ; nor cruelty 
and compassion. If it be necessary in the struggles 
of good and bad any of the common phases of 
human nature in the same individual to show that 
now and again either dominates for a time, the 
circumstances must be so arranged as to show 
preponderating cause. If the dramatist acts up to 
this standard all can go well. But if his work 
be crude and not in itself illuminative, the actor's 
work becomes more complex and more difficult. 
He has in the manifold ways of his own craft to show 
from the first the possibilities of character which 
later on will have to be dealt with. He will have 
to suggest the faintest beginnings of things which 
later are to be of perhaps paramount importance. 

This it is that Irving meant when he said that 
a character should be " sincere." It must not be 
self-contradictory. He put this point very 
definitely : 

"... the actor must before all things form 
a definite conception of what he wishes to 
convey. It is better to be wrong and con- 
sistent, than to be right, yet hesitating and 
uncertain." 

And thus it is that the actor's skill can so largely 



RETICENCE TRUTH 1 3 

supplement that of the dramatist. He must add 
whatever the other has omitted or left undone. He 
must make straight the path which is in common 
to himself, the dramatist, and the public. He must 
prepare by subtle means not too obtrusive to be 
distracting to the present purpose, nor too slight to 
pass altogether unnoticed the coming of something 
as yet below the horizon. If this be done with care 
and care implies both study and premeditation 
the sincerity of the character will from first to last 
be unimpaired. 

B. RETICENCE 

On the other side of this phase of the Art of 
Acting is that fine undefinable quality of all art 
which is known as " reticence." Restraint is almost 
as rare as passion. The " reticence " of the actor is 
perhaps its most difficult phase. For he has to ex- 
press that which has in the others to be concealed ; 
and if his expression be too marked, not only does 
the restraint cease to exist, but a wrong idea that 
of concealment is conveyed. 

C. ART AND TRUTH 

All these things are parts of an integral whole ; 
they all go to the formulation of an Art. Art is in 
itself only a part of the mechanism of truth. It 
is from the inner spirit that the outward seeming 
must derive. Rules and laws are but aids, re- 
straints, methods of achievement : but it is after 
all to nature that the artist must look. In the 
words of Pope : 

" These laws of old disco verM, not deviz'd, 
Are nature still but nature methodiz'd." 



i 4 HENRY IRVING 

Irving put the idea thus : 

"... merely to imitate is not to apply a 
similar method . . . the greatest of all the 
lessons that Art can teach is this : that truth 
is supreme and eternal. No phase of art can 
achieve much on a false basis. Sincerity, 
which is the very touchstone of Art, is in- 
stinctively recognised by all." 



THE PLAY 

The play as a whole is a matter of prime con- 
sideration for the actor, though it only comes into 
his province qua actor in a secondary way. In the 
working of a theatre it is the province of the stage 
manager to arrange the play as an entity ; the 
actor has to deal with it only with reference to his 
own scenes. But the actor must understand the 
whole scheme so as to realise the ultimate purpose ; 
otherwise his limitations may become hindrances 
to this. Irving who was manager as well as actor, 
puts the matter plainly from the more comprehen- 
sive point of view : 

"It is most important that an actor should 
learn that he is a figure in a picture, and that 
the least exaggeration destroys the harmony of 
the composition. All the members of the com- 
pany should work toward a common end, with 
the nicest subordination of their individuality 
to the general purpose." 



THE ART OF ILLUSION 15 

Here we have again the lesson of restraint of 
reticence. There are also various other forms of 
the same need, to which he has at various times 
alluded. For instance, speaking of the presentation 
of a play he said : 

" You want, above all things, to have a 
truthful picture which shall appeal to the eye 
without distracting the imagination from the 
purpose of the drama." 

In fact Irving took the broadest possible views 
of the aims and possibilities of his chosen art, and 
of the duties as well as of the methods of those who 
follow it. He even put it that the State had its 
duty with regard to the art of illusion : 

" The mere study of the necessities and re- 
sources of theatre art the art of illusion 
should give the theatre as an educational 
medium a place in State economy. Just think 
for a moment : a comprehensive art effort 
which consolidates into one entity which has 
an end and object and purpose of its own, 
all the elements of which any or all of the 
arts and industries take cognisance thought, 
speech, passion, humour, pathos, emotion, dis- 
tance, substance, form, size, colour, time, force, 
light, illusion to each or all of the senses, 
sound, tone, rhythm, music, motion. Can such 
a work be undertaken lightly or with inade- 
quate preparation ? Why, the mere patience 
necessary for the production of a play might 
take a high place in the marvels of human 
effort." 



1 6 HENRY IRVING 

VI 

STAGE PERSPECTIVE 

One of the things on which Irving always in- 
sisted was a knowledge and understanding of stage 
perspective and of its application in the practice 
not only of the art of the stage in its scenic and 
illusive aspect but of the art of acting : 

" The perspective of the stage is not that of 
real life, and the result of seeming is achieved 
by means which, judged by themselves, would 
seem to be indirect. It is only the raw recruit 
who tries to hit the bull's eye by point-blank 
firing, and who does not allow for elevation 
and windage." 

In pointing out the necessity of speaking more 
loudly on the stage than in a room, he puts the same 
idea in a different and perhaps a broader way : 

" This exaggeration applies to everything on 
the stage. To appear to be natural, you must 
in reality be much broader than natural. To 
act on the stage as one really would in a room 
would be ineffective and colourless." 

He never forgot and never allowed any one else 
to forget that the purpose of stage art is illusion. 
Its aim is not to present reality but its semblance ; 
not to be, but to seem. He put it thus : 

" The function of art is to do and not to 
create it is to make to seem, and not to make 
to be, for to make to be is the Creator's work." 



NATURE AND MAN 17 

He had before said : 

" It must never be forgotten that all art 
has the aim or object of seeming and not of 
being, and to understate is as bad as to over- 
state the modesty or the efflorescence of 
nature." 

Thus we get the higher aim : to seem to be 
but always in such wise that nature shall be worthily 
represented. Nature 

" At once the end and aim and test of art." 

So Pope. Irving put the value of nature as against 
mere pretence thus : 

"To be natural on the stage is most diffi- 
cult, and yet a grain of nature is worth a bushel 
of artifice. . . . Nature may be overdone by 
triviality in conditions that demand exaltation. 
. . . Like the practised orator, the actor rises 
and descends with his sentiment, and cannot 
be always in a fine frenzy." 

How true this is ; how consistent with eternal 
truth ! Nature has her moods, why not man ; has 
her means of expressing them, why not man also ? 
Nature has her tones ; and with these why may not 
the heart of man vibrate and express itself ? 

In this connection and with the same illustration 
the orator compared with the actor Irving put 
a new phase of the same idea : 

"It matters little whether the actor sheds 
tears or not, so long as he can make his audience 
shed them ; but if tears can be summoned at 
will and subject to his control it is true art to 

II B 



1 8 HENRY IRVING 

utilise such a power, and happy is the actor 
whose sensibility has at once such delicacy and 
discipline. In this respect the actor is like the 
orator. Eloquence is all the more moving when 
it is animated and directed by a fine and subtle 
sympathy which affects the spectator though it 
does not master him." 



VII 

DUAL CONSCIOUSNESS 

The last-mentioned utterance of Irving' s brings 
us at once to the deepest problem in the Art of 
Acting : the value and use of sensibility. Through- 
out his later life, from the time that he first entered 
the polemics of his art, he held consistently to one 
theory. To him the main disputants were Diderot 
and Talma ; any other was merely a supporter of 
the theory of either. 

Diderot in his Paradox of Acting held that for 
good acting there must be no real feeling on the 
part of the actor : 

" Extreme sensibility makes middling actors ; mid- 
dling sensibility makes the ruck of bad actors ; in 
complete absence of sensibility is the possibility of a 
sublime actor." 

Irving's comment on this theory is : 

" The exaltation of sensibility in Art may be 
difficult to define, but it is none the less real 
to all who have felt its power." 



TALMA'S THEORY 19 

Talma 1 held quite the opposite view to that of 
Diderot. To him one of the first qualifications of 
an actor is sensibility, which indeed he considered 
the very source of imagination. To this quality, he 
held, there must be added intelligence : 

" To form a great actor . . . the union of sensi- 
bility and intelligence is required." 

1 When Irving began to consider this branch of the " true 
inwardness " of his work he was so much struck with the argu- 
ment of Talma that he had it translated and inserted in 
The Theatre. This was easy of accomplishment, for with 
regard to that magazine he had only to ask. 

As a matter of fact The Theatre at that time belonged to 
him. He had long considered it advisable that there should 
be some organ in which matters deeply concerning the stage 
could be set forth. He accordingly arranged with the late 
Mr. F. W. Hawkins, then a sub-editor of the Times, to take 
the work in hand. Hawkins had already by his work shown 
his interest in the stage ; Irving had a high opinion of his 
" Life of Edmund Kean " and of his book on the French stage 
which he had then well in hand. He trusted Hawkins entirely ; 
gave him a free hand, and never interfered with him in any 
possible way except to suggest some useful article of a neutral 
kind. He would never even give a hint of his own opinion 
regarding any one of his own profession, but kept studiously 
out of the theatrical party-politics of the day. Hawkins had 
his own views which he was perfectly well able to support ; 
he could take care of himself. Irving was content that the 
magazine should exist, and footed the bills. Later on when 
the editorship was vacant Irving made a present of the whole 
thing to Clement Scott who said that he would like to see what 
he could do with it. 

The Talma articles appeared in The Theatre for the 
3oth January and 6th and I3th February 1877. This was 
before I came to Irving. It was long afterwards when I read 
them. 

In 1883 Walter Herries Pollock, then editor of the Saturday 
Review, a. great friend of Irving, produced an edition of the 
Paradox of Acting to which Irving wrote a preface. In this 
he set out his own views in his comments on the work of 
Diderot. 



20 HENRY IRVING 

Irving used his knowledge of the controversy to 
this effect : 

" I do not recommend actors to allow their 
feelings to carry them away . . . ; but it is 
necessary to warn you against the theory, ex- 
pounded with brilliant ingenuity by Diderot, 
that the actor never feels. . . . Has not the 
actor who can . . . make his feelings a part of 
his art an advantage over the actor who never 
feels, but makes his observations solely from 
the feelings of others ? It is necessary to this 
art that the mind should have, as it were, a double 
consciousness, in which all the emotions proper 
to the occasion may have full swing, while the 
actor is all the time on the alert for every detail 
of his method. . . . The actor who combines 
the electric force of a strong personality with 
a mastery of the resources of his art, must 
have a greater power over his audiences 
than the passionless actor who gives a most 
artistic simulation of the emotions he never 
experiences." 

The sentence printed in italics is a really valuable 
addition to the philosophy of acting. It is Irving's 
own and is, as may be seen, a development or 
corollary of Talma's conclusion. Talma required as 
a necessity of good acting both sensibility and in- 
telligence. But Irving claimed that in the practice 
of the art they must exist and act synchronously. 
This belief he cherished, and on it he acted with 
excellent result. I have myself seen a hundred 
instances of its efficiency in the way of protective 
self-control ; of conscious freedom of effort ; of self- 



DUAL CONSCIOUSNESS 21 

reliance ; of confidence in giving the reins to passion 
within the set bounds of art. 1 

In speaking of other branches of the subject 
Irving said : 

" An actor must either think for himself or 
imitate some one else." 

And again : 

" For the purely monkey arts of life there 
is no future they stand only in the crude 
glare of the present, and there is no softness 
for them, in the twilight of either hope or 
memory. With the true artist the internal 
force is the first requisite the external appear- 
ance being merely the medium through which 
this is made known to others." 

1 I have seen a good many times Irving illustrate and prove 
the theory of the dual consciousness in and during his own 
acting : when he has gone on with his work heedless of a fire 
on the stage and its quelling : when a gas tank underneath 
the stage exploded and actually dispersed some of the boarding 
close to him, he all the time proceeding without even a 
moment's pause or a falter in his voice. One other occasion 
was typical. During a performance of The Lyons Mail, whilst 
Dubosc surrounded by his gang was breaking open the iron 
strong-box conveyed in the mail cart the horses standing behind 
him began to get restive and plunged about wildly, making a 
situation of considerable danger. The other members of the 
murderous gang were quickly off the stage, and the dead body 
of the postilion rolled away to the wings. But Irving never 
even looked round. He went calmly on with his work of 
counting the bittets-de-banque, whilst he interlarded the words 
of the play with admonitions to his comrades not to be 
frightened but to come back and attend to their work of 
robbing. Not for an instant did he cease to be Dubosc though 
in addition he became manager of the theatre. 



22 HENRY IRVING 

* 

VIII 

INDIVIDUALITY, AND THE KNOWLEDGE OF IT 

If an actor has to learn of others often pri- 
marily through his own emotions, it is surely 
necessary that he learn first to know himself. He 
need not take himself as a standard of perfection 
though poor human nature is apt to lean that 
way ; but he can accept himself as something that 
he knows. If he cannot get that far he will never 
know anything. With himself then, and his self- 
knowledge as a foothold he may begin to under- 
stand others. 1 

TvwOi a-eavrov : Know thyself ! It is, after all, the 
base of all knowledge the foothold for all forward 
thought. Commenting on the speech of Polonius : 
" To thine own self be true," Irving said : 

" But how can a man be true to himself if 
he does not know himself ? ' Know thyself ' 
was a wisdom of the Ancients. But how can 
a man know himself if he mistrusts his own 
identity, and if he puts aside his special gifts 
in order to render himself an imperfect simili- 
tude of some one else ? " 

1 As an instance of the efficacy of the method, let any one 
try to tell character by handwriting. It is very simple, after 
all. Let him take the strange writing, and after making him- 
self familiar with it, measure it by himself, asking himself : 
" Under stress of what emotion would my own writing most 
nearly resemble that ? " Let him repeat this with each sign 
of divergence from his own caligraphy : and in a short time 
he will be astonished with the result. So it is with all studies 
of character. Without any standard the task is impossible ; 
but weigh each against your own self-knowledge and you at 
once begin to acquire comparative knowledge of simple qualities 
capable of being combined endlessly. 



BEAUTY THE AIM OF ART 23 

IX 

Thus we have come back to living's original 
proposition : 

" If you do not pass a character through your 
own mind it can never be sincere." The logical 
wheel has gone its full round and is back at the 
starting place. Begin with the argument where you 
will it must come sooner or later to the same end : 
"To know others know yourself." Your own iden- 
tity is that which you must, for histrionic purposes, 
clothe with attributes not your own. You must 
have before your mind some definite image of what 
you would portray ; and your own feeling must 
be ultimately its quickening force. 

So far, the resolution of the poet's thought into 
a moving, breathing, visible, tangible character. 
But that is not the completion of the endeavour. 
In the philosophy of histrionic art are rarer heights 
than mere embodiment, mere vitality, mere illusion. 
The stage is a world of its own, and has its own 
ambitions, its own duties. Truth either to natural 
types or to the arbitrary creations of the dramatist 
is not sufficient. For the altitudes something else 
is required. Irving set it forth thus : 

" Finally in the consideration of the Art of 
Acting, it must never be forgotten that its 
ultimate aim is beauty. Truth itself is only 
an element of beauty, and to merely reproduce 
things vile and squalid and mean is a debase- 
ment of art." 

Here he supports the theory of Taine that art, 
like nature, has its own selective power ; and that 



1 4 HENRY IRVING 

in the wisdom of its choosing is its power for good. 
Does it not march with that sublime apothegm of 
Burke ; " Vice itself lost half its evil by losing all 
its grossness " ? 

Finally Irving summed up the whole Philosophy 
of his Art and of its place amongst the sister Arts 
in a few sentences : 

" In painting and in the drama the methods 
of the workers are so entirely opposed, and the 
materials with which they work are so different, 
that a mutual study of the other work cannot 
but be of service to each. Your painter works 
in mouldable materials, inanimate, not sensi- 
tive but yielding to the lightest touch. His 
creation is the embodiment of the phantasm of 
his imagination, for in art the purpose is to 
glorify and not merely to reproduce. He uses 
forms and facts of nature that he may not err 
against nature's laws. But such natural facts 
as he assimilates are reproduced in his work, 
deified by the strength of his own imagination. 
Actors, on the other hand, have to work with 
materials which are all natural, and not all 
plastic, but are all sensitive with some of the 
strength and all the weakness of flesh and blood. 
The actor has first to receive in his own mind 
the phantasmal image which is conveyed to 
him by the words of the poet ; and this he has 
to reproduce as he can with the faulty materials 
which nature has given to him. Thus the 
painter and the poet begin from different ends 
of the gamut of natural possibilities the one 
starts from nature to reach imagination, the 



THE TRUE REALISM 25 

other from imagination to reach at reality. 
And if the means be not inadequate, and if the 
effect be sincere, both can reach that veritable 
ground where reality and imagination join. 
This is the true realism towards which all 
should aim the holy ground whereon is reared 
the Pantheon of all the Arts." 



XLIV 

THE RIGHT HON. WILLIAM EWART 
GLADSTONE 

Visits to the Lyceum Intellectual stimulus and rest An 
interesting post-card His memory " Mr. Gladstone's 
seat" Speaks of Parnell Visit to "Becket" Special 
knowledge ; its application Lord Randolph Churchill 
on Gladstone Mrs. Gladstone 



FOR fourteen years, from 1881 to 1895, Mr. Glad- 
stone was a visitor at the Lyceum. The first occa- 
sion was on the First night of The Cup, January 3, 
1 88 1, of which I have already written. He had 
known Irving before, but this was the first time he 
had been behind the Lyceum scenes. He was very 
interested in everything, especially those matters 
of which up to then he knew little such as the 
setting of the scenes. His fund of information was 
prodigious and one could feel that he took a delight 
in adding to it. He was on that occasion very 
complimentary about all he saw and very anxious 
to know of the reality as distinguished from the 
seeming of things such as food and drink used, 
&c. That night his visit to the stage was only a 
passing one as he sat through the active part of 
the play in his own box, except during a part of 
one scene. 



INTELLECTUAL STIMULANT 27 

He seemed ever afterwards to take a great in- 
terest in Irving and all he did. At the end of 
June 1882 he invited Irving to one of his delightful 
" Breakfasts " in Downing Street. On 8th July of 
the same year he came to the Lyceum and brought 
Lord Northbrook with him. Whenever he visited 
the theatre after 1881 he always came and went by 
the private door in Burleigh Street, and he always 
managed to visit Irving on the stage or in his dress- 
ing-room or both. The public seemed to take a 
delight in seeing him at the theatre, and he appeared 
to take a delight in coming. I honestly believe 
that he found in it, now and again, an intellectual 
stimulant either an excitement or a pausing time 
before some great effort, or a relief of change from 
fact to fancy after it. For instance : On 8th April 
1886, Thursday, he made his great speech in the 
House of Commons introducing the Home Rule 
Bill amid a time of great excitement. Two nights 
after, Saturday night, he came to the Lyceum 
and received an immense ovation. Again, in the 
time of bitter regret and anxiety when Parnell 
made the violent attack on him in his Manifesto, 
November 29, 1890, Saturday, he took his earliest 
opportunity, Tuesday, 2nd December, of coming to 
the Lyceum. 

This visit was a somewhat special one, for it was 
the first time that Mr. Gladstone came to sit behind 
the scenes in the O.P. 1 proscenium corner which 
then became known as " Mr. Gladstone's seat." 
The occasion of it was thus : I had the year pre- 
viously written an Irish novel, The Snake's Pass, 

1 Opposite Prompt. 



28 HENRY IRVING 

which after running as a serial through the London 
People and several provincial papers had now been 
published in book form. I had done myself the 
pleasure of sending an early copy to Mr. Glad- 
stone whose magnificent power and ability and 
character I had all my life so much admired. 
Having met and conversed with him several times 
I felt in a way justified in so doing. He had at 
once written ; I received his letter the same day 
that of publication, i8th November 1890. I give 
his letter, which was in the post-card form then 
usual to him I think it is a good example of his 
method of correspondence, kind and thoughtful and 
courteous a model of style. I had as may be 
gathered written with some diffidence, or delicacy 
of feeling : 

" DEAR MR. BRAM STOKER, My social memory is 
indeed a bad one, yet not so bad as to prevent my 
recollection of our various meetings. I thank you 
much for your work, and for your sympathy ; and I 
hope to have perused all your pages before we meet 
again. When that will be I know not : but I am so 
fond a lover of The Bride of Lammermoor that I 
may take the desperate step of asking Mr. Irving 
whether he will some night, if it is on, let me sit behind 
the stage pillar a post which C. Kean once gave me, 
and which alone would make me sure to hear. Yours 
faithfully, W. E. GLADSTONE. 

N. 18. 90." 

Some days later, after a most cordial invitation 
from Irving, it was arranged that he should choose 
exactly what date he wished and that all should 
be ready for him. There could be no difficulty, as 
Ravenswood was the only play then in the bill and 
would hold it alone till the beginning of the new 



Jo 



/ f *. 

FACSIMILE POST-CARD FROM MR. GLADSTONE 



IRISH MATTERS 29 

year. When he did come I met him and Mrs. 
Gladstone at the private door and piloted them 
across the stage, which was the nearest way to 
Irving's box. The door to it was beside the corner 
where Mr. Gladstone would sit. 

Possibly it was that as Mr. Gladstone was then 
full of Irish matters my book, being of Ireland and 
dealing with Irish ways and specially of a case of 
oppression by a " gombeen " man under a loan 
secured on land, interested him for he had evidently 
read it carefully. As we walked across the stage 
he spoke to me of it very kindly and very search- 
ingly. Of course I was more than pleased when 
he said : 

" That scene at Mrs. Kelligan's is fine very fine 
indeed ! " 

Now it must be remembered that, in the interval 
between his getting the book and when we met, 
had occurred one of the greatest troubles and trials 
of his whole political life. The hopes which he had 
built through the slow progress of years for the 
happy settlement of centuries-old Irish troubles had 
been suddenly almost shattered by a bolt from the 
blue, and his great intellect, and enormous powers 
of work and concentration had been for many days 
strained to the utmost to keep the road of the future 
clear from the possibility of permanent destruction 
following on temporary embarrassment. And yet 
in the midst of all he found time to read and 
remember, even to details and names the work of 
an unimportant friend. 

When it had been known on the stage that Mr. 
Gladstone was coming that night to sit behind the 
scenes the men seemed determined to make it a 



30 HENRY IRVING 

gala occasion. They had prepared the corner where 
he was to sit as though it were for Royalty. 
They had not only swept and dusted but had 
scrubbed the floor ; and they had rigged up a sort 
of canopy of crimson velvet so that neither dust 
nor draught should come to the old man. His chair 
was nicely padded and made comfortable. The 
stage-men were all, as though by chance, on the 
stage and all in their Sunday clothes. As the 
Premier came in all hats went off. I showed Mr. 
Gladstone his nook and told him, to his immense 
gratification, how the men had prepared it on their 
own initiative. We chatted till the time drew near for 
the curtain to go up. Then I fixed him in his place 
and showed him how to watch for and avoid the 
drop scene, the great roller of which would descend 
guided by the steel cord drawn taut beside him. 
Lest there should be any danger through his un- 
familiarity with the ways of theatres, I signalled 
the Master Carpenter to come to me and thus 
cautioned him. 

" Would it not be well," I said, " if some one 
stood near here in case of accident ? " 

" It's all right, sir, we have provided for that. 
The two best and steadiest men in the theatre are 
here ready ! " I looked round and there they were 
alert and watchful. And there they remained 
all night. There was not going to be any chance 
of mishap to Mr. Gladstone that night ! 

I went always to join him between the acts, 
and Irving when he had opportunity from his 
dressing of which there was a good deal in 
Ravenswood would come to talk with him. We 
were all, whatever our political opinions indivi- 



CALEB AND FALSTAFF 31 

dually, full of the Parnell Manifesto and its many 
bearings on political life. For myself, though I was 
a philosophical Home-Ruler, I was much surprised 
and both angry at and sorry for ParnelTs attitude, 
and I told Mr. Gladstone my opinion. He said with 
great earnestness and considerable feeling : 

" I am very angry, but I assure you I am even 
more sorry.'* 

I was pleased to think and need I say proud 
also that Mr. Gladstone seemed to like to talk 
politics with me. In March 1887 when the new 
Rules of Procedure for the House of Commons were 
introduced I ventured to write an exhaustive note 
on one of the suggested new Rules, No. XII., which 
I sent to him through the kindness of his friend 
James Knowles. He was good enough to send me 
a kind message regarding it through his son Mr. 
W. H. Gladstone. This suggested Rule was shortly 
dropped altogether, not of course in any way due to 
my suggestion. I felt, however, gratified that my 
view was correct. In my University days I had been 
something of a law maker in a small way, as I had 
revised and carried out the revision of the laws 
of order of the College Historical Society, Dublin 
University our great debating society founded by 
Edmund Burke. I had also made the laws for the 
Actors' Benevolent Fund, for a hospital, and for 
numerous societies. 

On that particular night he was very chatty, and 
in commenting on the play compared, strangely 
enough, Caleb Balderstone with Falstaff. He was 
interested and eager about everything round him 
and asked innumerable questions. In the course 
of conversation he said that he had always taken 



32 HENRY IRVING 

it for granted that the stage word " properties " 
included costumes. 

He was seemingly delighted with that visit, and 
from that time on whenever he came to the theatre 
he always occupied the same place, Mrs. Gladstone 
and whoever might be with him sitting in Irving' s 
box close at hand. 



II 

The next time he came, which was on 2Qth Jan- 
uary of the next year, 1891, he generously brought 
Irving a cheque for ten pounds for the Actors' 
Benevolent Fund. That evening too he was de- 
lighted with the play, Much Ado about Nothing, 
which he had seen before in 1882, in the ordinary 
way. He applauded loudty, just as he used to do 
when sitting in the front of the house. 



Ill 

He came again in 1892, nth May, when we were 
playing Henry VIII., and in the course of con- 
versation commented on Froude's estimate of the 
population of England in the sixteenth century, 
which according to his ideas had been stated much 
below the mark. He also spoke of Dante being in 
Oxford a subject about which he wrote in the 
Nineteenth Century in the next month. 

Another instance of Mr. Gladstone's visit to the 
Lyceum : on the evening of 25th February 1893 



LIGHT ON BI-METALLISM 33 

he came to see Becket. He had introduced his 
second Home Rule Bill on the thirteenth of the 
month, and as it was being discussed he was 
naturally full of it so were we all. By the way, 
the Bill was carried in the Commons at the end 
of August of that year. That night when speaking 
of his new Bill he said to me : 

" I will venture to say that in four or five years 
those who oppose it will wonder what it was that 
they opposed ! " 

He was delighted with Becket, and seemed specially 
to rejoice in the success of Tennyson's work. 



IV 

He was as usual much interested in matters of 
cost. Irving talked with him very freely, and 
amongst other things mentioned the increasing ex- 
penses of working a theatre, especially with regard 
to the salaries of actors which had, he said, 
almost been doubled of late years. Gladstone 
seemed instantly struck with this. When Irving 
had gone to change his dress, Gladstone said to 
me suddenly : 

" You told me, I think, that you are Chancellor 
of the Exchequer here." 

' Yes ! " I said. " As in your own case, Mr. 
Gladstone, that is one of my functions ! " 

' Then would you mind answering me a few 
questions ? " On my giving a hearty acquiescence 
he began to inquire exhaustively with regard to 
different classes of actors and others, and seemed 
to be weighing in his mind the relative advances. 

II C 



34 HENRY IRVING 

In fact his queries covered the whole ground, for now 
and again he asked as to the quality of materials 
used. I knew he was omnivorous with regard to 
finance, but to-night I was something surprised at 
the magnitude and persistence of his interests. The 
reason came shortly. Three days after the visit, 
28th February, Sir Henry Meysey-Thompson, M.P. 
for Handsworth, voiced in the House the wishes then 
floating of the Bi-Metallists for an International 
Monetary Conference. Mr. Gladstone replied to 
him in a great speech, the immediate effect of 
which was to relegate the matter to the Greek 
Kalends. In this speech he began with the standard 
of value, and by figures arrived at gold as the least 
variable standard. Then he went on to the values 
and change of various commodities, leading him to 
what he called " the greatest commodity of the 
world human labour." This he broadly differ- 
entiated into three classes of work which were 
dependent on ordinary trade laws and conditions, 
and of a more limited class which seemed to illustrate 
the natural changes of the laws of value, inasmuch 
as the earners were not influenced to any degree by 
the course of events or the cost of materials. This, 
broadly speaking, was his sequence of ideas. When 
he had got so far he said : 

" Take also the limited class about whom I happened 
to hear the other day the theatrical profession. I 
have it on unquestionable authority that the ordinary 
payments received by actors and actresses have risen 
largely." 

With his keen instinct for both finance and argu- 
ment he had seized at once on Irving's remark 
about the increase of salaries, recognising on the 



LORD RANDOLPH ON GLADSTONE 35 

instant its suitability as an illustration in the setting 
forth of his views. And I doubt if he could have 
found any other class of wage-earning so isolated 
from commercial changes. 



V 

Irving told me of an interesting conversation 
which he had in those days with Lord Randolph 
Churchill in which the latter mentioned Gladstone 
in a striking way. Answering a query following on 
some previous remark, he said : 

" The fact is we are all afraid of him ! " 

" How is that and why ? " asked Irving. 

" Well, you see, he is a first-class man. And the 
rest of us are only second-class at best ! " 

Mr. Gladstone was a really good playgoer and he 
seemed to love the theatre. When he came he and 
Mrs. Gladstone were always in good time. I once 
asked him, thinking that he might have mistaken 
the hour, in which case I would have borne it in 
mind to advise him on another occasion, if he liked 
to come early, and he said : 

" Yes. I have always made it a practice to come 
early. I like to be in my place, and composed, 
before they begin to tune the fiddles ! " 

This is the true spirit in which to enjoy the play. 
No one who has ever sat in eager expectation can 
forget the imaginative forcefulness of that acre of 
green baize which hid all the delightful mysteries 
of the stage. It was in itself a sort of introduction 
to wonderland, making all the seeming that came 
after as if quickened into reality. 



36 HENRY IRVING 

VI 

Like her great husband Mrs. Gladstone largely 
enjoyed the play. She too seemed to wish to be 
in good time and to be interested in everything. 
Like him she was incarnate memory and courtesy. 
I can give a little pleasing instance : Once when 
stepping from her carriage she dropped her cut 
glass smelling-bottle. I had met them coming in 
and saw her loss ; so I sent out and got another 
as like as possible to the fragments that lay on the 
path. She was greatly pleased at the little atten- 
tion and did not forget it. Years afterwards, when 
I went to see her in her box, she held up the scent 
bottle and said : 

" You see I have it still ! " 



XLV 

THE EARL OF BEACONSFIELD 

His advice to a Court chaplain Sir George Elliott and 
picture-hanging As a beauty As a social fencer " A 
striking physiognomy " 



I NEVER saw Benjamin Disraeli (except from the 
Gallery of the House of Commons) but on the one 
occasion, when he came to see The Corsican 
Brothers. Irving, however, met him often and 
liked to talk about him. He admired, of course, 
his power and courage and address ; but it was, 
I think, the Actor that was in the man that appealed 
to him. I think also that Beaconsfield liked him, 
and gauged his interest and delight in matters of 
character. Somehow the stories which he told him 
conveyed this idea. 

One was of an ambitious young clergyman, son 
of an old friend of the statesman, who asked him to 
use his influence in having him appointed a Chap- 
lain to the Queen. This he had effected in due 
course. The Premier, to his surprise, some time 
afterwards received a visit from his protege", who 
said he had, on the ground of the kindness already 
extended to him, to ask a further favour. When 
asked what it was he answered : 



38 HENRY IRVING 

" I have through your kindness for which I am 
eternally grateful been notified that I am to preach 
before Her Majesty on Sunday week. So I have 
come to ask you if you would very kindly give me 
some sort of hint in the matter ! " The Premier, 
after a moment's thought, had answered : 

" Well, you see, I am not much in the habit of 
preaching sermons myself so I must leave that alto- 
gether to your own discretion. But I can tell you 
this : If you will preach for fifteen minutes the 
Queen will listen to you. If you will preach for 
ten minutes she will listen with interest. But if 
you will preach for five minutes you will be the 
most popular chaplain that has ever been at 
Court." 

" And what do you think," he went on, " this 
egregious young man said : 

" ' But, Mr. Disraeli, how can I do myself justice 
in five minutes ! ' Then came the super-cynical 
remark of the statesman-of-the-world : 

" Fancy wanting to do himself justice and 
before the Queen ! " 



II 

Sir George Elliott, Bart., M.P., the great coal- 
owner, was a friend of Irving' s and used to come 
to the Lyceum. One night 4th December 1890 
at supper in the Beefsteak Room, he told us of a visit 
he paid to Lord Beaconsfield at Hughenden Manor. 
Disraeli had taken a fancy to the old gentleman, 
who was, I believe, a self-made man all honour to 
him. He was the only guest on that week-end 



ON PICTURE-HANGING 39 

visit. His host took him over the house and showed 
him his various treasures. In the course of their 
going about, Beaconsfield asked him : 

" How do you like this room ? " It was the 
dining-room, a large and handsome chamber ; in 
it were two portraits, the Queen and the Countess 
Beaconsfield Disraeli had had her title conferred 
whilst he was still in the Commons. At the time 
of Sir George's visit he was a widower. 

" I thought it odd," said Sir George, " that the 
Queen's picture should hang on the side wall whilst 
another was over the chimney-piece, which was the 
place of honour, and asked Dizzy if they should not 
be changed. He smiled as he said, after a pause : 

" ' Well, her Majesty did me the honour of visiting 
me twice at Hughenden ; but she did not make the 
suggestion ! ' 

" He said it very sweetly. It was a gentle rebuke. 
I don't know how I came to make such a blunder." 

There is another reading of the speech which I 
think he did not see. 



Ill 

Disraeli was always good to his Countess, who 
loved and admired him devotedly. She must, how- 
ever, have been at times something of a trial to him, 
for she was outspoken in a way which must now 
and again have galled a man with his sense of 
humour; no man is insensitive to ridicule. One 
night at supper in the Beefsteak Room, a member 
of Parliament, who knew most things about his con- 
temporaries, told us of one evening at a big dinner 



40 HENRY IRVING 

party at which Disraeli and Lady Beaconsfield were 
present. Some man had been speaking of a new 
beauty and was expatiating on her charms the 
softness of her eyes, her dimples, her pearly teeth, 
the magnificence of her hair, the whiteness of her 
skin here he was interrupted by a remark of Lady 
Beaconsfield made across the table : 

" Ah ! you should see my Dizzy in his bath ! " 



IV 

James McHenry told me an anecdote of Disraeli 
which illustrates his astuteness in getting out of 
difficulties. The matter happened to a lady of his 
acquaintance. This lady was very anxious that her 
husband should get an appointment for which he 
was a candidate one of those good things that 
distinctly goes by favour. One evening, to her 
great joy, she found that she was to sit at dinner 
next the Premier. She was a very attractive 
woman whom most men liked to serve. The oppor- 
tunity was too good to lose, and as her neighbour 
" took " to her at once she began to have great 
hopes. Having " ground-baited " the locality with 
personal charm she began to get her hooks and tackle 
ready. She led the conversation to the subject in 
her mind, Disraeli talking quite freely. Then 
despite her efforts the conversation drifted away 
to something else. She tried again ; but when just 
close to her objective it drifted again. Thus attack 
and repulse kept on during dinner. Do what she 
would, she could not get on the subject by gentle 



A STATESMAN'S DEFENCE 41 

means. She felt at last that she was up against 
a master of that craft. Time ran out, and when 
came that premonitory hush and glance round the 
table which shows that the ladies are about to 
withdraw she grew desperate. Boldly attacking 
once more the arbiter of her husband's destiny, 
she asked him point blank to give the appointment. 
He looked at her admiringly ; and just as the move 
came he said to her in an impressive whisper : 
" Oh, you are a darling ! " 



Irving told me this : 

He was giving sittings for his bust to Count 
Gleichen, who was also doing a bust of Lord Beacons- 
field. One day when he came the sculptor, looking 
at his watch, said : 

" I'm afraid our sitting to-day must be a short 
one indeed it may be interrupted at any moment. 
You won't mind, I hope ? " 

" Not at all ! " said Irving. " What is it ? " 

" The Premier has sent me word that he must 
come at an earlier hour than he fixed as he has 
a Cabinet Meeting." He had already unswathed 
the clay so as not to waste in preparation the time 
of the statesman when he should come. Irving 
was looking at it when something struck him. 
Turning to Count Gleichen he said : 

" That seems something like myself you know 
we actors have to study our own faces a good deal, 
so that we come to know them." 



42 HENRY IRVING 

Just then Disraeli came in. When they had all 
shaken hands, the sculptor said to the new-comer : 

" Mr. Irving says that he sees in your bust a 
resemblance to himself ! " 

Disraeli looked at Irving a moment with a 
pleased expression. Then he walked over to where 
Irving's bust was still uncovered. He examined it 
critically for a few moments ; and then turning to 
Count Gleichen said : 

" What a striking and distinguished physiog- 
nomy ! " 



XLVI 



SIR WILLIAM PEARCE, BART. 

A night adventure The courage of a mother The story 

of the " Livadia " Nihilists after her Her trial trip 

How she saved the Czar's life 



SIR WILLIAM PEARCE made a Baronet in 1887 
was a close friend of Irving. He was the head of 
the great Glasgow shipbuilding firm of John Elder 
& Co. In fact he was John Elder & Co. for he owned 
most of the whole great business. He was a " Man 
of Kent/' which is a different thing from being a 
Kentish man. A Man of Kent is one born in the 
Isle of Thanet, where the old succession in cases of 
intestacy differs from the standard British law on 
the subject. He went to Glasgow as a shipwright 
and entered the works at Fairfield. He was a man of 
such commanding force and ability that he climbed 
up through the whole concern, right up to the top, 
and in time and not a long time either for such 
a purpose owned the whole thing. To him it is 
that we owe the great speed of ocean-going ships. 
For years all the great racers were built at his 
works on the Clyde. He also built many superb 
yachts, notably the Lady Torfrida and the Lady 
Torfrida the Second. The first-named was in his 



44 HENRY IRVING 

own use when we were playing in Glasgow in the 
early autumn of 1883. That provincial tour was a 
short one of six weeks previous to our leaving for 
America on our first Trans-Atlantic tour. We had 
commenced in Glasgow on 28th August. During 
the first week Irving, Loveday, and myself, and 
Ellen Terry, who had her little son with her, and 
one other young lady, Miss Macready, accepted 
Mr. Pearce's invitation to go on a week-end yacht- 
ing tour, to begin after the play on the following 
Saturday night, ist September. 



II 

The Lady Torfrida was berthed in the estuary of 
the Clyde off Greenock; so a little after eleven 
o'clock we all set off for Greenock. 

It had been a blustering evening in Glasgow ; 
but here in the open it seemed a gale. I think 
that the hearts of all the landsmen of our party 
sank when we saw the black water lashed into foam 
by the fierce wind. Pearce had met us at the 
station and came with us. Of the yachting party 
were his son the present Baronet, and a College 
friend of his, Mr. Bradbury. With the bluff hearti- 
ness of a yachtsman Pearce now assured us that 
everything was smooth and easy. At the stairs we 
found a trim boat with its oarsmen fending her off 
as with every rising wave she made violent dashes 
at the stonework. One of the men stood on the 
steps holding the painter ; he dared not fasten it 
to the ring. From near the level of the water the 
estuary looked like a wide sea and the water so cold 



MOTHERHOOD 45 

and dark and boisterous that it seemed like mad- 
ness going out on such a night in such a boat for 
pleasure. There were several of us, however, and 
we were afraid of frightening each other ; I do not 
think that any of us were afraid for ourselves. 
Ellen Terry whispered to me to take her son, who 
was only a little chap, next to me, as she knew me 
and would have confidence in me. 

We managed to get into the boat without any of 
us getting all wet, and pushed off. We drove out 
into the teeth of the wind the waves seeming much 
bigger now we were amongst them and out in the 
open Firth. Not a sign of yacht could be seen. To 
us strangers the whole thing was an act of faith. 
Presently Pearce gave an order and we burned a 
blue light, which was after a while answered from 
far off a long, long distance off, we thought, as we 
looked across the waste of black troubled water 
looking more deadly than ever in the blue light 
though it looked even more deadly when the last 
of the light fell hissing into the wave. By this time 
matters were getting really serious. Some one had 
to keep baling all the time, and on the weather side 
we had to sit shoulder to shoulder as close as we 
could so that the waves might break on our backs 
and not over the gunwale. It was just about as 
unpleasant an experience as one could have. I 
drew the lad next to me as close as I could partly 
to comfort him and more particularly lest he should 
get frightened and try to leave his place. And yet 
all the time we were a merry party. Ellen Terry 
with the strong motherhood in her all awake a 
lesson and a hallowed memory was making cheery 
remarks and pointing out to her boy the many 



46 HENRY IRVING 

natural beauties with which we were surrounded : 
the distant lights, the dim line of light above the 
shore line, the lurid light of the city of Greenock 
on the sky. She thought of only one thing, her 
little boy, and that he might not suffer the pain of 
fear. The place seemed to become beautiful in the 
glow of her maternity. He did not say much in 
answer not in any enthusiastic way ; but he was 
not much frightened. Cold waves of exceeding 
violence, driven up your back by a fierce wind which 
beat the spray into your neck, make hardly a cheer- 
ful help to the enjoyment of the aesthetic ! 

Irving sat stolid and made casual remarks such as 
he would have made at his own fireside. His quiet 
calm, I think, allayed nervous tremors in some of 
the others. I really think he enjoyed the situa- 
tion in a way. As for Pearce, who held the tiller 
himself, he was absolutely boisterous with joviality, 
though he once whispered in my ear : 

" Keep it up ! We will be all right ; but I don't 
want any of them to get frightened. It is pretty 
serious ! " I think we settled in time into a sort 
of that calm acceptance of fact which is so real a 
tribute to Belief. It certainly startled us a little 
when we heard a voice hailing us with a speaking 
trumpet a voice which seemed close to us. Then 
a light flashed out and we saw the Lady Torfrida 
rising high from the water whereon she floated 
gracefully, just swaying with wave and wind. She 
was a big yacht with 600 h.p. engines, after the 
model of those of the Alaska, one of Pearce' s build- 
ing, then known as the " Greyhound of the ocean ! " 

I think we were all rejoiced ; even Pearce, who 
told me before we went to our cabins in the early 



ON THE LADY TORFRIDA 47 

morning that all through that miserable voyage in 
the dark the sense of his responsibility was heavy 
upon him. 

"Just fancy," he said, " if anything had happened 
to Irving or Ellen Terry ! And it might have, 
easily ! We had no right to come out in such a 
small boat on such a night ; we were absolutely 
in danger at times ! " 

We were not long in getting aboard. The whole 
yacht seemed by comparison with the darkness we 
emerged from to be blazing with light and filled with 
alert, powerful men. We were pulled, jerked, or 
thrown on board, I hardly knew which ; and found 
ourselves hurried down to our luxurious cabins 
where everything was ready for our dressing. Our 
things had fortunately been sent on board during 
the day ; anything coming in the boat would have 
had a poor chance of arriving dry. 



Ill 

In a very short time we were sitting in the 
saloon, light and warm and doing ample justice to 
one of the most perfect meals I ever sat down to. 
It was now after one o'clock and we were all 
hungry. After supper we sat and talked ; and 
after the ladies had retired we sat on still till the 
September sun began to look in through the silk 
curtains that veiled the ports. 

Pearce was a man full of interesting memories 
and experiences, and that night he seemed to lay 
the treasures of them at the feet of his guests. 
But of all that he told we listening eagerly none 



48 HENRY IRVING 

was so fascinating as his account of the building 
and trial trip of the Livadia. 

This was the great yacht which the Czar Alex- 
ander II. had built from the designs of Admiral 
Popoff of his own navy. It was of an entirely new 
pattern of naval construction : a turtle with a house 
on its back. The work of building had been en- 
trusted to the Fairfield yard with carte blanche in 
the doing of it. No expense was to be spared in 
having everything of the best. Under the circum- 
stances it could not be contracted for ; the builder 
was paid by a fixed percentage of the prime cost. 
The only thing that the builder had to guarantee 
was the speed. But that was so arranged that 
beyond a certain point there was to be a rising 
bonus ; the shipbuilder made an extra 20,000 on 
this alone. Pearce told us that it was the hope 
of the Czar to be able to evade the Nihilists, who 
were then very active and had attempted his life 
several times. The Livadia was really a palace of 
the sea whereon he could live in comfort and luxury 
for long periods ; and in which by keeping his own 
counsel he could go about the world without the 
knowledge of his enemies. It was known that the 
Nihilists regarded very jealously the building of 
the ship, and careful watch was kept in the yard. 
One day when the ship was finished and was partly 
coaled, there came a wire from the Russian Embassy 
that it was reported that there were two Nihilists 
in the shipyard. When the men were coming back 
from dinner, tally was kept at the gate where the 
Russian detectives were on watch. I have seen 
that return from dinner. Through the great gates 
seven thousand men poured in like a huge living 



THE START 49 

stream. On this occasion the check showed that 
two men were missing. The Nihilists also had their 
own Embassy and secret police ! 

It then became necessary to examine the ship in 
every part. Those were the days of the Thomassin 
" infernal machine/' which was suspected of having 
been the means by which many ships had been sent 
to the bottom. These machines were exploded by 
clockwork set for a certain time, and were made in 
such fashion as would not excite suspicion. Some 
were in the form of irregularly shaped lumps of coal. 
The first thing to be done was therefore to take 
out all the coal which had already been put in. 
When the bunkers were empty and all the search- 
able portions of the ship had been carefully examined 
inch by inch, a picked staff of men opened and ex- 
amined the watertight compartments. This was in 
itself a job, for there were, so well as I remember, 
something like a hundred and fifty of them. How- 
ever, as each was done Pearce himself set his own 
seal upon it. At last he was able to assure the 
Grand Duke, who was in command and who had 
arrived to take the boat in charge, that she was 
so far safe from attack from concealed explosives. 
When she was starting the Grand Duke told Pearce 
that the Czar expected that he would go on the 
trial trip. In his own words : 

"It is not any part of a shipbuilder's business 
to go on trial trips unless he so wishes. But in this 
case I could not have thought of refusing. The 
Czar's relations with me and his kindness to me 
were such that I could not do anything but what 
would please him ! " 

So the Livadia started from the Clyde with 

ii p 



5 o HENRY IRVING 

sealed orders. Her first call was at Holyhead. 
There they met with a despatch which ordered 
an immediate journey to Plymouth. At Plymouth 
she was again directed with secret orders to go to 
Brest, whither she set out at once. 

At Brest there was an " easy," and certain of the 
officers and men were allowed shore leave. The 
rest should have been for several days ; but sud- 
denly word was received to leave Brest at once ; 
it was said that some suspected Nihilists were in 
the way. The men on shore were peremptorily 
recalled and in haste preparations were made for 
an immediate start for the south. Pearce's own 
words explain the situation : 

" I went at once to the Grand Duke Nicholas 
and remonstrated with him. ' I can answer for the 
workmanship of the Livadia? I said ; ' but the 
design is not mine, and so far as I know the principle 
on which she has been constructed has never been 
tested and there is no possibility of knowing what 
a ship of the pattern will do in bad weather, and 
that we have ahead of us. It is dirty now in the 
Bay and a storm is reported coming up. Does your 
Highness really think it wise to attempt the Bay 
of Biscay under the conditions ? ' To my astonish- 
ment not only the Grand Duke but some of his 
officers who were present, who had not hitherto 
shown any disposition to despise danger, spoke 
loudly in favour of going on at once. Of course I 
said no more. I had built the ship, and though I 
was not responsible for her I felt that if necessary 
I should go down in her. We had a terrible ex- 
perience in the Bay, but got through safely to Ferrol. 
There she was laid up in a land-locked bay round 



AN ESCAPE 51 

the shores of which guards were posted night and 
day for months. It was necessary that she should 
lie up somewhere as the dock at Sebastopol the 
only dock in the world large enough to hold her 
was not ready. 

" And whilst she lay there the Czar was assas- 
sinated, I3th March 1881." 



IV 

Then he went on to tell us how once already 
the Livadia had been the means of saving the 
Czar's life : 

' When she was getting on I had a model of her 
made in fact, two ; one of them," he said, turn- 
ing to me, "you saw the other day in my office. 
These models are troublesome and costly things to 
make. The one which I intended as a present 
to the Czar cost five hundred pounds. It was my 
present to his Majesty on the twenty-fifth anni- 
versary of his succession. It arrived the day before, 
I7th February 29th February old style. The Czar 
was delighted with it. That evening there was a 
banquet in the Winter Palace, where he was then in 
residence. He had been threatened for some time 
by means of a black-edged letter finding its way 
every morning into the Palace, warning him in 
explicit terms that if his oppression did not cease 
he would not live past the anniversary of his 
accession, which would be the following day. When 
he was leading the way to the dining-hall from 
the drawing-room he turned to the lady with him 



52 HENRY IRVING 

Princess Dolgoruki, his morganatic wife and 
said : 

" ' By the way, I want to show you my new toy ! ' 
The model had been placed in the salon at the 
head of the grand staircase and they stopped to 
examine it. 

" As they were doing so the staircase down 
which they would have been otherwise passing was 
blown up. The Nihilists knowing the exact routine 
of the Court and the rigid adherence to hours had 
timed the explosion for the passage of the stair- 
case ! " 

We spent a delightful Sunday going round Arran. 
We dined at anchor in Wemyss Bay and slept on 
board. On the forenoon of Monday we went back 
to Glasgow. 



XLVII 

STEPNIAK 

A congeries of personalities The " closed hand " His 

appearance " Free Russia " The gentle criticism of 

a Nihilist Prince Nicholas Galitzin The dangers of 

big game 

I 

ON the evening of 8th July 1892, after the play, 
Faust, Irving had some friends to supper in the 
Beefsteak Room. I think that, all told, it was as 
odd a congeries of personalities as could well be. 
Sarah Bernhardt, Darmont, Ellen Terry and her 
daughter, Toole, Mr. and Mrs. T. B. Aldridge, of 
Boston, two Miss Casellas and Stepniak. It was 
odd that the man was known only by the one name ; 
no one ever used his first name, Sergius. Other 
men have second names of some sort ; but this 
one, though he signed himself S. Stepniak, I never 
heard spoken of except by the one word. I sat 
next to him at supper and we had a great deal of 
conversation together, chiefly about the state of 
affairs in Russia generally and the Revolutionary 
party in especial. Hall Caine had been staying with 
me for a week, 2Oth to 27th June 1892, and he told 
me all about his coming journey to Russia. He 
had been studying the matter very carefully and 



54 HENRY IRVING 

trying to get back to the real cause of the " Exodus." 
To him it had begun in what was locally known as 
the " closed hand." It was, so far as he could 
gather, on an economic basis. The Russian moujik 
was illiterate and as a rule a drunkard when he got 
the chance. In the endless steppes, which are so 
flat that the roads simply disappear on the horizon 
line, all the carriage of goods has to be by carts. 
There are no minor railways. The moujik with his 
load of corn would take his way to the nearest 
market centre and there stay in the tavern till he 
had drunk up all he had received for his crop. The 
Jew tavern-keeper was also the local usurer, and 
would make a certain advance on the man's labour 
for the coming- year. When that credit had ended, 
since he never could get even, he would pledge the 
labour of his children. Thus after a time the chil- 
dren, practically sold to labour, would be taken away 
to the cities there to be put to work without re- 
muneration. It was practically slavery. Then the 
Russian Government, recognising the impossibility 
of dealing with such a state of affairs, undertook to 
drive out the Jews altogether. 

Such was the allegation made by the supporters 
of the Exodus, and there was at least a certain 
measure of truth in it. Caine had explained it all 
to me fully so that when I talked that night with 
Stepniak I had some foothold of information to 
rest on whilst I asked for more. He, who had pre- 
sumably been in the very heart of the Revolutionary 
party and in all the secrets of Nihilism, told me some 
of his views and aspirations and those of the party 
or rather the parties of which he was a unit. 



SIBERIA 55 

II 

Stepniak was a very large man large of that 
type that the line of the shoulders is high so that 
the bulk of the body stands out solid. He had a 
close beard and very thick hair, and strongly-marked 
features with a suggestion of the Kalmuck type. 
He was very strong and had a great voice. On ist 
May of that year, 1892, I had heard him speak at 
the great meeting in Hyde Park for the " Eight- 
hour " movement. There were in the Park that 
day not far from a quarter of a million of people, 
so that from any of the tribunes which were carts 
no one could be heard that was not strong of 
voice. The only three men whom I could hear were 
John Burns, Stepniak, and Frederick Rogers the 
latter a working bookbinder and President of the 
Elizabethan Society also one of the very finest 
speakers judged by any standard I have ever 
heard. 

In our conversation at supper that night he told 
me of the letters which they were receiving from 
the far-off northern shores of Siberia. It was a most 
sad and pitiful tale. Men of learning and culture, 
mostly University professors, men of blameless life 
and takers of no active part in revolution or con- 
spiracy simply theorists of freedom, patriots at 
heart sent away to the terrible muddy shores of 
the Arctic sea, ill housed, ill fed, over worked where 
life was one long, sordid, degrading struggle for bare 
life in that inhospitable region. I could not but be 
interested and moved by his telling. He saw that 
I was sympathetic, and said he would like to send 
me something to read on the subject. It came 



56 HENRY IRVING 

some weeks later, as the following letter will 

show : 

"31 BLANDFORD ROAD, 

"BEDFORD PARK, W., 
"August 2, 1892. 

" DEAR MR. STOKER, It is a long time that I wanted 
to write to you since that delightful party at the 
Lyceum. But I was so busy, and the parcel I wanted 
to send to you for one reason or another could never 
be ready, and so it dragged on. What I send to you 
is the paper, Free Russia, I am editing. Since you 
have read all my books and have been so kind and 
indulgent for them, and so interested in the Russian 
Cause, I suppose you will be interested in the attempt 
to give a practical expression to English sympathies. 
Unfortunately the collection of Free Russia is incom- 
plete (No. i is quite out of print). But what you will 
have is quite sufficient to give you an idea of the 
whole. 

" May I ask whether you live permanently in London 
and whether I may hope to see you some day once 
again ? Yours very truly, S. STEPNIAK." 



Ill 

In February 1893 Stepniak saw Irving and Ellen 
Terry play in King Lear. The following excerpts 
are from a letter which he sent to Irving a long 
letter of fourteen pages. I was so struck with it 
when Irving showed it to me that I asked leave to 
make a copy. Whereupon he gave me the letter. 

This was after a habit of his of which I shall 
speak later. In the letter he said : 

" The actor is a joint creator with the author even 
with such an author as Shakespeare. He has a right 
of his own in interpretation, and the only point is 



A GENTLE NIHILIST 57 

how far he made good his claims, and that you have 
done to a wonderful extent. Yours was not acting : 
it was life itself, so true, natural and convincing was 
every word, every shade of expression upon your face 
or in your voice. The gradual transformation of the 
man, his humbling himself, the revelation of his better, 
sympathetic self it was all a wonder of realism, 
nature and subtlety. Your acting reminded me of 
the pictures of the great Flemish master who seems 
to paint not with a brush but with a needle. Yet 
this astonishing subtlety was in no way prejudicial 
to the completeness and the pow^;: and masterliness 
of the great whole. ... I cannot forbear from asking 
you to transmit my compliments and admiration to 
Miss Ellen Terry if you think that she may care 
about such a humble tribute. There is a passage from 
' I love your Majesty according to my bonds, not 
more or less ' and the following monologue, which I 
am bold enough to say are the weakest in the play : 
too cold and dry and forward and elaborate for 
Cordelia. But in her rendering there was nothing of 
that : it was all simplicity, tenderness, spontaneous 
emotion. The charm of her personality and character, 
which she has such a unique gift of infusing into every- 
thing, has partially improved the original text. I 
hope you will not consider my saying so too sacri- 
legious. There are spots upon the sun. And the 
scene in the French camp ! Her ' No cause, no 
cause ! ' was quite a stroke of genius. I would not 
believe before I saw her in that, that words can pro- 
duce such an emotion." 

And this was the man who stood for wiping 
tyrants from the face of the earth ; who aided in 
the task, if Underground Russia be even based on 
truth. This gentle, appreciative, keenly critical, 
sympathetic man ! 

Strange it was that he who must have gone 
through such appalling dangers as beset hourly the 



58 HENRY IRVING 

workers in the Nihilist cause and come through them 
all unscathed was finally killed in the commonplace 
way of being run over by a train on the under- 
ground railway. 



IV 

It reminds me of another experience with Irving 
and a surprising denouement. When we were in 
California in 1893 a gentleman called to see Irving 
at his hotel. He was a countryman of Stepniak, but 
of quite the opposite degree a Prince claiming blood 
kin with the Czar, Nicholas Galitzin. He supped 
with Irving and some others, forty-five in all, at the 
Cafe Riche, I3th September, when he gave Irving 
a very charming souvenir in the shape of a gold 
match-box set with gems. Several times after we 
met at supper and came to be quite friends. Prince 
Galitzin was a mighty hunter and had slain much 
big game, including many bears and some grizzlies. 
He told us many interesting hunting adventures. 
He had lost one arm. He had not mentioned 
any adventure bearing on this, and one time Irving 
asked him if it was by a mischance in a hunting 
adventure that he had suffered the loss. He said 
with a laugh : 

" No ! No ! Nothing of the kind. It was a 
damn stupid fellow who let a Saratoga trunk fall 
on me over the staircase of a hotel ! " 



XLVIII 

E. ONSLOW FORD, R.A. 

Fatherly advice The design The meeting Sittings 
Irving' s hands 

ONE morning it was I2th January 1880 I got a 
note from Irving sent down by cab from his rooms. 
In it he said : 

" There is a certain Mr. Onslow Ford coming to 
the theatre this morning. Please see him for me 
and give him some fatherly or brotherly advice." 

I left word with the haUkeeper to send for me 
whenever the gentleman came. I did not know 
who he was or what he wanted : but I did know 
what " fatherly or brotherly advice " meant. At 
that period of his life the demands made on Irving' s 
time were fearful. He used to get shoals of letters 
every day asking for appointments. Nearly all the 
writers wanted something money, advice, free 
tickets, engagements for self or friend, to sell work 
of their own or of others, to read plays, to get him 
to sit for photographs, to ask him for sittings for 
pictures. There was no end to them ; no limit to 
the range of their wants. Of all the classes three 
were naturally within the range of his own work : 
authors of plays, actors wanting engagements, artists 
of all kinds. Rarely indeed did any one of secured 



6o HENRY IRVING 

position come in that way ; such usually sent letters 
of introduction. Even then they had in most cases 
to see me ; it was a physical impossibility that 
Irving could give the time; rehearsals, produc- 
tion, and his work at night and in the day took 
up the whole possible working hours. 

A little after noon I was sent for; the expected 
stranger had arrived. In those days the stage 
door in Exeter Street was very small and abso- 
lutely inconvenient. There was comfortable room 
for Sergeant Barry, the hallkeeper, who was a fine, 
big, bulky man; two in the room crowded it. 
Barry waited outside and I went in. The stranger 
was a young man of medium height, thin, dark 
haired. His hair rose back from his forehead with- 
out parting of any kind, in the way which we in those 
days associated in our minds with French artists. 
His face was pale, a little sallow, fine in profile 
and moulding ; a nose of distinction with sensi- 
tive nostrils. He had a small beard and moustache. 
His eyes were dark and concentrated distinctly 
" seeing " eyes. My heart warmed to him at once. 
He was young and earnest and fine ; I knew at a 
glance that he was an artist, and with a future. 
Still I had to be on guard. One of my functions at 
the theatre, as I had come to know after a year 
of exceedingly arduous work, was to act as a barrier. 
I was " the Spirit that denies ! " In fact I had to 
be. No one likes to say " no ! " a very few are 
constitutionally able to. I had set myself to help 
Irving in his work and this was one of the best 
ways I could help him. He recognised gratefully 
the utility of the service, and as he trusted abso- 
lutely in my discretion I gradually fell into the habit 



PREPARATION 61 

of using my own decision in the great majority of 
cases. " First fire ! Then enquire ! " was an old 
saying of an Irish sergeant instructing recruits on 
sentry duty. He was pretty right ! 

When Mr. Onslow Ford told me that he wished 
to make a statuette of Henry Irving as Hamlet I 
felt that the time for " advice " had come, and 
began to pave the way for a non possumus strong 
in intention though gentle in expression. The 
young sculptor, however, had thought the matter 
all over for himself. He knew the demands on 
Irving's time and how vastly difficult it would be 
to get sittings so many and so long as would be 
required for the work he had projected. I listened 
of course and thought better of him and his chance 
in that he knew his difficulties at the beginning. 

Presently he put his hand in his pocket and took 
out something rolled in paper a parcel about as 
big as a pork pie. When he had unrolled it he held 
up a rough clay model of a seated figure. 

" This," said he, " is something of the idea. I 
have been several times in the front row of the 
stalls watching as closely as I could. One cannot 
well model clay in the stalls of a theatre. But I 
did this after the first time, and I have had it with 
me on each other occasion. I compared it on such 
opportunities as I had you do keep the Lyceum 
dark all but the stage ; and I think I can see my 
way. I don't want to waste Irving's time or my 
own opportunities if I am so fortunate as to get 
sittings ! " 

That was the sort of artist that needed none of 
my " advice " fatherly, brotherly, or otherwise. 
My mind was already made up. 



62 HENRY IRVING 

" Would you mind waiting here a while ? " I 
asked. In those early days we had only the one 
office and no waiting room except the stage. He 
waited gladly, whilst I went back to the Office. 
Irving had by this time arrived. I told him I had 
seen Mr. Ford. 

" I hope you put it nicely to him that I can't 
possibly give him sittings/' he said. 

" That is why I came to see if you had arrived." 

" How do you mean," he asked again. So I 
said : 

" I think you had better see him, and if you think 
as I do you will give him sittings ! " 

" Oh, my dear fellow, I can't. I am really too 
pressed with work." 

" Well, see him any .way ! " I said ; " I have asked 
him to wait on purpose." He looked at me keenly 
for an instant as though I had somehow " gone 
back " on him. Then he smiled : 

" All right. I'll see him now ! " 

I brought Onslow Ford. When the two men 
met, Irving did share my opinion. He did give 
sittings for a bronze statuette. The result was so 
fine that he gave quite another series of sittings 
for him to do the life-size marble statue of " Irving 
as Hamlet " now in the Library of the London 
Guildhall. It is a magnificent work, and will perhaps 
best of all his works perpetuate the memory of the 
great Sculptor who died all too young. 

Irving gave many sittings for the statue. With 
the experience of his first work Onslow Ford could 
begin with knowledge of the face so necessary in 
portrait art. I often went with him and it was an 
intense pleasure to see Onslow Ford's fine hands 




f /('/ft'// . '/'I'fMt/ 



*** 

t// //tf .'/rtt/t//lrr//. 



IRVING'S HANDS 63 

at work. They seemed like living things working 
as though they had their own brains and initiation. 
I was even able to be of some little assistance. 
I knew Irving' s face so well from seeing it so per- 
petually under almost all possible phases of emotion 
that I could notice any error of effect if not of 
measurement. Often either Irving or Onslow Ford 
would ask me and I would give my opinion. For 
instance : 

" I think the right jowl is not right ! " The 
sculptor examined it thoughtfully for quite a while. 
Then he said suddenly : 

" Quite right ! but not in that way. I see what 
it is ! " and he proceeded to add to the left of the 
forehead. 

After all, effect is comparative ; this is one of 
the great principles of art ! 

On 3ist March last, one of the Academy view 
days of those not yet Royal Academicians, I went 
to Onslow Ford's old studio in Acacia Road, now in 
possession of his son, Wolfram the painter, to see 
his portrait of his beautiful young wife, the daughter 
of George Henschel. Whilst we were talking of old 
days he unearthed treasures which I did not know 
existed : casts from life of Henry Irving' s hands. 

No other such relics of the actor exist ; and these 
are of supreme interest. Irving had the finest man's 
hands I have ever seen. Later on he sent me a 
cast of one of them in bronze ; a rare and beautiful 
thing which I shall always value. Size, and shape, 
proportion and articulation were all alike beautiful 
and distinguished and distinctive. It would be hard 
to mistake them for those of any other man. With 
them he could speak. It was not possible to doubt 



64 HENRY IRVING 

the meaning which he intended to convey. With 
such models to work on a few lines of pencil or brush 
made for the actor an enlightening identity of char- 
acter. The weakness of Charles I., which not all 
the skill of Vandyck could hide ; the vulture grip 
of Shylock ; the fossilised age of Gregory Brewster ; 
the asceticism of Becket. 

What, after the face, can compare with the hand 
for character, or intention, or illustration. It can 
be an index to the working of the mind. 



XLIX 



SIR LAURENCE ALMA-TADEMA, R.A. 

" Coriolanus " Union of the Arts Archeology The re- 
evolution of the toga Twenty -two years' delay Ahna- 
Tadema's house A lesson in care " Cymbeline " 



IN his speech at the close of the second " season " 
at the Lyceum, 25th July 1879, Irving announced 
amongst the old plays which he intended to do, 
Coriolanus. He never announced any play, then 
or thereafter, without having thought it well over 
and come to some conclusion as to its practicability. 
In this instance he had already made up his mind 
to ask Laurence Alma-Tadema to make designs for 
the play and to superintend its production. The 
experience of having a free hand in such matters, 
now that he was his own master in regard to stage 
productions, had shown to him the great possi- 
bilities of effect to be produced by the great masters 
of technique. There had in the past been great 
painters who had worked for the stage. Louther- 
bourg and Clarkson Stanfield, for instance, had 
made fame in both ways of picturesque art, the 
Gallery and the Stage. But the idea was new of 
getting specialists in various periods to apply their 
personal skill as well as their archaeological know- 

II E 



66 HENRY IRVING 

ledge to stage effect. Indeed up to that time even 
great painters were not always historically accurate. 
A survey of the work of most of the painters of the 
first half of the Victorian epoch will show such 
glaring instances of anachronism and such manifest 
breaches of geographical, ethnological, and techno- 
logical exactness as to illustrate the extraordinary 
change for the better in the way of accuracy in the 
work of to-day. The National Gallery and Holland 
House have instances of errors in costumes in- 
correct as to alleged nationality and date. Irving 
wanted things to be correct, well knowing that as 
every age has its own suitabilities to its own need 
that which is accurate is most likely to convince. 
Alma - Tadema had made a speciality of artistic 
archaeology of Ancient Rome. In working from 
his knowledge he had reformed the whole artistic 
ideas of the time. He had so studied the life of old 
Rome that he had for his own purposes recon- 
structed it. Up to his time, for instance, the toga 
was in art depicted as a thin linen robe of some- 
what scanty proportions. Look at the picture of 
Kemble as Cato by Lawrence, or indeed of any 
ancient Roman by any one. Irving had become 
possessed of the toga of Macready, and anything 
more absurd one could hardly imagine ; it was 
something like a voluminous night - shirt. Of 
course the audience also were ignorant of the real 
thing, and so it did not matter ; the great actor's 
powers were unlessened by the common ignorance. 
In his studying for his art Alma-Tadema had taken 
from many statues and fragments the folds as well 
as the texture of the toga. With infinite patience 
he had gathered up details of various kinds, till 



RE-CREATION OF THE TOGA 67 

at last, with a mind stored with knowledge, he set 
to himself the task of reconstruction ; to restore the 
toga so that it would answer all the conditions 
evidenced in contemporary statuary. And the re- 
sult ? Not a flimsy covering which would have 
become draggle-tailed in a day or an hour of 
strenuous work ; but a huge garment of heavy 
cloth which would allow of infinite varieties of 
wearing, and which would preserve the body from 
the burning heat of the day and the reacting chills 
of night. Even for the purposes of pictorial art 
the revived toga made a new condition of things, 
in all ways harmonising with the accepted facts. 
There is in record plenty of marble and stone work 
of old Rome ; of work in bronze and brass and iron 
and copper ; in silver and gold ; in jewels and 
crystals in fact in all those materials which do not 
yield to the ravages of time. All this Alma-Tadema 
had studied till he knew it. He was familiar with 
the kinds of marble and stone used in Roman 
architecture, statuary, and domestic service. The 
kinds of glass and crystal ; of armour and arms ; 
of furniture ; of lighting ; sacerdotal and public 
and domestic service. He knew how a velarum 
should be made and of what, and how adorned ; 
how it should be put up and secured. He was 
learned of boats and chariots ; of carts and carriages, 
and of the trappings of horses. Implements of 
agriculture and trade and manufacture and for 
domestic use were familiar to him. He was a master 
of the many ceremonial undertakings which had 
such a part in Roman life In fact, Alma- 
Tadema' s artistic reconstruction was like that of 
Owen ; he reconciled fragments and brought to light 



68 HENRY IRVING 

proof of the unities and harmonies and suitabilities 
of ancient life. 



II 

Irving felt that with such an artist to help 
archaeologist, specialist, and genius in one he would 
be able to put before an audience such work as 
would not only charm them by its beauty and 
interest them in its novelty, but would convince 
by its suitability. For there is an enormous aid 
to conviction in a story when those who follow it 
accept from the beginning in good faith the things 
of common knowledge and use which are put before 
them. I often say myself that the Faith which 
still exists is to be found more often in a theatre 
than in a church. When an audience go into a play- 
house which is not connected in their minds with 
the habit of deceit they are unconsciously prepared 
to accept all things ab initio in the simple and direct 
manner of childhood. When therefore what they 
see is vraisemblable with the manifest appearance 
of truth to something all the powers of intellectual 
examination and working habit come into force 
in the right direction. 

In that summer of 1879 when Irving announced 
Coriolanus he also announced several other plays. 

It was not, of course, his intention to produce these 
plays all at once but one by one as occasion served. 
As has been seen, the putting on of The Merchant of 
Venice and its phenomenal success shelved or post- 
poned most of the plays then announced ; but Irving 
did not lose sight of Coriolanus. One morning in 
the following winter, whilst Sir Laurence Alma- 



" CORIOLANUS " 69 

Tadema, as he has himself told me, was in his studio 
in his house at North Gate, Regent's Park, he heard 
the sound of sleigh bells coming over the bridge. 
Naturally his thoughts went back to The Bells and 
Irving, for no one who has seen the play can hear 
the sound unexpectedly without the thought. He 
heard the sound stop at his own gate ; and whilst 
wondering what it could mean Irving was announced. 
He was accompanied by Mr. W. L. Ashmead Bart- 
lett, who afterwards took his present name on his 
marriage to the Baroness Burdett-Coutts. Irving 
at once entered upon the subject of his visit ; and 
the great painter was charmed to entertain it. As 
was usual with him when working on a new play, 
Irving had a rough scenario in his mind ; and he and 
Alma-Tadema spoke of it then and there. Irving 
could tell him of the scenes he wanted and give 
some hints not only as to their practical use but 
of the ideas which he wished them to convey. When 
he had gone Alma-Tadema took down his Shake- 
speare and began his own study of the play. The 
continuous success of The Merchant of Venice gave 
him ample time, and his studies and designs were 
unique and lovely. 

Ill 

As we know, the production of Coriolanus did 
not take place till twenty-two years later; but all 
through 1880 and 1881 Alma-Tadema had the matter 
in hand. In those years the high policy of his theatre 
management was a good deal changed. When Irving 
had experience of Ellen Terry's remarkable powers 
and gifts he wisely determined to devote to them, so 



yo HENRY IRVING 

far as was possible, the remaining years of her youth. 
She had now been twenty-five years on the stage ; 
and though she began in her very babyhood at 
eight years old the flight of time has to be con- 
sidered, for the future if not for the past. She was 
now thirty-three years of age ; in the very height 
of her beauty and charm, and to all seeming still 
in her girlhood. He therefore arranged Romeo and 
Juliet as the next Shakespearean production. This 
was followed in time by Much Ado about Nothing ; 
Twelfth Night, Olivia, Faust all plays that showed 
her in her brightness and pathos ; and so Coriolanus 
was kept postponed. But well into 1881 it was still 
being worked on, and in those days I had many 
visits to the studio of Alma-Tadema. The house he 
then occupied was Townshend House, North Gate, 
Regent's Park, which he had so exquisitely fitted up 
after his previous home had been almost entirely 
destroyed by the blowing up of a barge carrying 
explosives on the Regent's Canal. 

I have never forgotten no one who had seen 
it could ever forget that wonderful house ; its 
windows of hammered bronze in Roman design, 
with panes of onyx and marble cut so thin as to 
be translucent, almost transparent ; its dado rail 
of the Elgin marbles reproduced in petto in carved 
ivory; its tesselated floors, its wood carvings, its 
golden alcoves, its Chinese draperies, its Japanese 
bronzes. All the exquisite adornment and things 
of beauty with which a great and successful artist 
can surround himself in the many years of devotion 
to his art. It is surely no wonder that Alma- 
Tadema has prospered. Even with a lesser measure 
of genius than his, labour and application and 



DEVOTION TO ART 71 

such devotion to work could not but achieve 
success in so marked a degree. 



IV 

Let me give an instance of his thoroughness in 
his art work. 

Once when in his studio I saw him occupied on 
a beautiful piece of painting, a shrub with a myriad 
of branches laden with berries and but few leaves, 
through which was seen the detail of the archi- 
tecture of the marble building beyond. The picture 
was then almost finished. The next time I came I 
found him still hard at work on the same painting ; 
but it was not nearly so far advanced. Dissatisfied 
with the total effect, he had painted out the entire 
background and was engaged on a new and quite 
different one. The labour involved in this stupen- 
dous change almost made me shudder. It needs 
but a small amount of thought to understand the 
infinite care and delicacy of touch to complete an 
elaborate architectural drawing between the gaps 
of those hundreds of spreading twigs. 



This devotion to his art is often one of the 
touchstones of the success of an artist in any 
medium ; the actor, or the singer, or the musician 
as well as the worker in any of the plastic arts. 

I remember Irving telling me of a conversation 



72 HENRY IRVING 

he had with the late W. H. Vanderbilt when, after 
lunch in his own house in Fifth Avenue, the great 
millionaire took him round his beautiful picture 
gallery. He was pointing out the portrait of him- 
self finished not long before by Meissonier, and gave 
many details of how the great painter did his work 
and the extraordinary care which he took. Vander- 
bilt used to give long sittings, and Meissonier, to 
aid the tedium of his posing, had mirrors fitted up 
in such a way that he could see the work being 
executed. " Do you know," the millionaire con- 
cluded, " that sometimes after a long sitting he would 
take his cloth and wipe out everything he had done 
in the day's work. And I calculated roughly that 
every touch of his brush cost me five dollars ! " 



VI 

When in 1896 Irving produced Cymbeline, Alma- 
Tadema undertook to design and supervise the pic- 
turesque side ; or, as it was by his wish announced 
in the programme : " kindly acted as adviser in 
the production of the play." 

He chose a time of England when architecture 
expressed itself mainly in wood ; natural enough 
when it was a country of forest. It is not a play 
allowing of much display of fine dresses, and Irving 
never under any circumstances wished a play to be 
unsuitably mounted. The opportunities of pictur- 
esque effect came, in this instance, in beautiful 
scenery. 



SIR EDWARD BURNE-JONES, BART. 

" King Arthur " The Painter's thought His illustrative 
stories from child life 



IT was to Irving an intense pleasure to work with 
Sir Edward Burne- Jones. The painter seemed to 
bring to whatever he had in hand a sort of con- 
centration of all his great gifts, and to apply them 
with unsparing purpose and energy. His energy 
was of that kind which seems to accomplish without 
strenuous effort ; after all it is the waste of force 
and not its use which proclaims itself in the doing. 
This man had such mighty gifts that in his work 
there was no waste ; all the creations of his teeming 
brain were so fine in themselves that they simply 
stood ready for artistic use. His imagination 
working out through perfected art peopled a whole 
world of its own and filled that world around them 
with beautiful things. This world had been opened 
to Irving as to the rest of the world who admired 
it. But when the player came adventuring into it, 
the painter displayed to him a vast of hidden 
treasures. There was simply no end to his imagi- 
native ideas, his artistic efforts, his working into 
material beauty the thoughts which flitted through 



74 HENRY IRVING 

his mind. As a colourist he was supreme, and he 
could use colour as a medium of conveying ideas 
to the same effect as others used form. His own 
power of dealing with the beauties of form was 
supreme. 

To work with such an artist was to Irving a real 
joy. He simply revelled in the task. Every time 
they met it was to him a fresh stimulation. Burne- 
Jones, too, seemed to be stimulated ; the stage had 
always been to him a fairyland of its own, but he 
had not had artistic dealings with it. Now he 
entered it with full power to let himself run free. 
The play which he undertook for Irving, King 
Arthur, was of the period which he had made his 
own : that mystic time when life had single purposes 
and the noblest prevailed the most ; when beauty 
was a symbol of inner worth ; when love in some 
dainty as well as holy form showed that even flesh, 
which was God's handiwork, was not base. 

In the working out of the play each day saw some 
new evidence of the painter's thought ; the roughest 
sketch given as a direction or a light to scene painter 
or property maker or costumier was in itself a thing 
of beauty. I veritably believe that Irving was 
sorry when the production of the play was com- 
plete. He so enjoyed the creative process that the 
completion was a lesser good. 

Regarding human nature, which was Irving's own 
especial study, Burne- Jones had a mind tuned to 
the same key as his own. To them both the things 
which were basic and typal were closest. The 
varieties of mankind were of lesser importance than 
the species. The individual was the particular 
method and opportunity of conveyance of an idea ; 



A SEARCHING QUERY 75 

and, as such, was of original importance. To each 
of the two great artists such individual grew in his 
mind, and ever grew ; till in the end, on canvas or 
before the footlights, the being lived. 



II 

It would be hard to better illustrate the mental 
attitude of both to man and type and individual 
than by some of the stories which Burne- Jones loved 
to tell and Irving to hear. The painter had an end- 
less collection of stories of all sorts ; but those relating 
to children seemed closest to his heart. In our 
meetings on the stage or at supper in the Beef- 
steak Room, or on those delightful Sunday after- 
noons when he allowed a friend to stroll with him 
round his studio, there was always some little tale 
breathing the very essence of human nature. 

I remember once when he told us an incident 
in the life of his daughter, who was then a most 
beautiful girl and is now a most beautiful woman, 
Mrs. J. W. Mackail. When she was quite a little 
girl, she came home from school one day and with 
thoughtful eyes and puckered brows asked her 
mother : 

" Mother, can you tell me why it is that whenever 
I see a little boy crying in the street I always want 
to kiss him; and when I see a little girl crying 
I want to slap her ? " 



76 HENRY IRVING 

III 

Another story was of a little boy, one of a large 
family. This little chap on one occasion asked to 
be allowed to go to bed at the children's tea time, 
a circumstance so unique as to puzzle the domestic 
authorities. The mother refused, but the child 
whimpered and persevered and succeeded. The 
father was presently in his study at the back of the 
house looking out on the garden when he saw the 
child in his little night-shirt come secretly down 
the steps and steal to a corner of the garden behind 
some shrubs. He had a garden fork in his hand. 
After a lapse of some minutes he came out again 
and stole quietly upstairs. The father's curiosity 
was aroused, and he too went behind the shrubs 
to see what had happened. He found some freshly 
turned earth, and began to investigate. Some few 
inches down was a closed envelope which the child 
had buried. On opening it he found a lucifer match 
and a slip of paper on which was written in pencil 
in a sprawling hand : 

" DEAR DEVIL, Please take away Aunt Julia." 



IV 

Another story related to a little baby child, the 
first in the household. There was a dinner party, 
and the child, curious as to what was going on, lay 
awake with torturing thoughts. At last, when a 



AN OBEDIENT CHILD 77 

favourable opportunity came through the nurse's 
absence, she got quietly from her cot and stole 
downstairs just as she was. The dining-room door 
was ajar, and before the agonised nurse could effect 
a capture she had slipped into the room. There 
she was, of course, made much of. She was taken 
in turn on each one's knees and kissed. Mother 
frowned, of course, but father gave her a grape 
and a wee drop of wine and water. Then she was 
kissed again and taken to the waiting nurse. Safe 
in the nursery her guardian berated her : 

" Oh, Miss Angy, this is very dreadful. Going 
down to the dining-room ! And in your nighty ! 
And before strangers! Before gentlemen/ You 
must never let any gentleman see you in your 
nighty ! Never ! Never ! Never ! Never ! That 
is Wicked ! Awful ! " And so on. 

A few nights afterwards the father, when going 
from his dressing-room for dinner, went into the 
nursery to say another " good-night " to baby. 
When he went in she was saying her prayers at 
nurse's knee, in long night-robe and with folded 
hands like the picture of the Infant Samuel. 
Hearing the footstep she turned her head round, 
and on catching sight of her father jumped up 
crying : " Nau'ty nau'ty nau'ty ! " and ran be- 
hind a screen. The father looked at the nurse 
puzzled : 

" What is it, nurse ? " 

" I don't know, sir ! I haven't the faintest idea ! " 
she answered, equally puzzled. 

"I'll wait a few minutes and see," he said, as he 
sat down. Half a minute later the little tot ran 
from behind the screen, quite naked, and running 



78 HENRY IRVING 

over to him threw herself on his knee. She snuggled 
in close to him with her arms round his neck, and 
putting her little rosebud of a mouth close to his 
ear whispered wooingly : 

" Pap-pa, me dood girl now ! " 



LI 



EDWIN A. ABBEY, R.A. 

" Richard //." " The Kinsmen " Artistic collaboration 
Mediceval life The character of Richard 



WHEN Irving was having the enforced rest conse- 
quent to the accident to his knee in December 1896, 
he made up his mind that his next Shakespearean 
production should be Richard II. For a long time 
he had had it in view and already formed his 
opinion as to what the leading features of such a 
production as was necessary should be. He knew 
that it could not in any case be made into a strong 
play, for the indeterminate character of Richard 
would not allow of such. The strong thing that 
is in the play is, of course, his suffering ; but such 
when the outcome of one's own nature is not the 
same as when it is effected by Fate, or external 
oppression. He knew therefore that the play 
would want all the help he could give it. Now he 
set himself to work out the text to acting shape 
as he considered it would be best. Despite what 
any one may say to the contrary, and it is only 
faddists that say it, there is not a play of Shake- 
speare's which does not need arranging or cutting 
for the stage. So much can now be expressed by 



8o HENRY IRVING 

pictorial effect by costume, by lighting and pro- 
perties and music which in Shakespeare's time had 
to be expressed in words, that compression is at 
least advisable. Then again, the existence of varied 
scenery and dresses requires time for changes, which 
can sometimes be effected only by the transposi- 
tion of parts of the play. In his spare time, there- 
fore, of 1897 he began the arrangement with a 
definite idea of production in 1899. When he had 
the general scheme prepared for later on there 
are always changes in readings and minor details 
he approached the man who in his mind would 
be the best to design and advise concerning the 
artistic side : Edwin A. Abbey, R.A. 



II 

Irving and Abbey were close friends ; and I am 
proud to say I can say the same of myself and 
Abbey for the last twenty-five years. Irving had 
a great admiration for his work, especially with 
regard to Shakespeare's plays, many of which he 
illustrated for Harper's Magazine. The two men had 
been often thrown together as members of " The 
Kinsmen," a little dining club of literary and artistic 
men of British and American nationality. Abbey 
and George Boughton and John Sargent represented 
in London the American painters of the group. 
Naturally in the intimate companionship which 
such a club affords, men understand more of the 
wishes and aims and ambitions of their friends. 
Irving had instinctive belief that the painter who 
thought out his work so carefully and produced 



CO-OPERATION 81 

effects at once so picturesque and so illuminative 
of character would or might care for stage work 
where everything has to seem real and regarding 
which there must be an intelligent purpose some- 
where. Irving, having already produced Richard III. 
with the limited resources of the Bateman days, 
knew the difficulties of the play and the effects 
which he wished to produce. When afterwards 
Abbey painted his great picture of the funeral of 
Henry VI., Irving recognised a master-hand of scenic 
purpose. Years afterwards when he produced the 
play he availed himself, to the best of his own 
ability and the possibilities of the stage, of the 
painter's original work. It was not possible to 
realise on the stage Abbey's great conception. It 
is possible to use in the illusion of a picture a 
perspective forbidden on the stage by limited space 
and the non- compressible actuality of human bodies. 
When he came to think over Richard //., he at 
once began to rely on Abbey's imagination and 
genius for the historical aspect of the play. He 
approached him ; and the work was undertaken. 



Ill 

Abbey has since told me of the delight he had in 
co-operating with Irving. Not only was he proud 
and glad to work with such a man in such a posi- 
tion which he had won for himself, but the actual 
working together as artists in different media to one 
common end was pleasure to him. Irving came to 
him with every detail of the play ready, so that he 
could get into his mind at one time both the broad 

II F 



82 HENRY IRVING 

dominating ideas and the necessary requirements 
and limitations of the scenes. The whole play was 
charted for him at the start. Irving could defend 
every position he had taken ; knew the force and 
guidance of every passage ; and had so studied the 
period and its history that he could add external 
illumination to the poet's intention. 

In addition, the painter found that his own sug- 
gestions were so quickly and so heartily seized 
that he felt from the first that he himself and his 
work were from the very start prime factors in the 
creation of the mise-en-scene. In his own words : 

" Irving made me understand him ; and he under- 
stood me ! We seemed to be thoroughly at one in 
everything. My own idea of the centre point of 
the play was Richard's poignant feeling at realis- 
ing that Bolingbroke's power and splendour were 
taking the place of his own. 

" ' O God ! O God ! that ere this tongue of mine, 
That laid the sentence of dread banishment 
On yon proud man, should take it off again 
With words of sooth ! O, that I were as great 
As is my grief, or lesser than my name ! 
Or that I could forget what I have been ! 
Or not remember what I must be now ! 
SwelTst thou, proud heart ? I'll give thee scope to beat, 
Since foes have scope to beat both thee and me.' 

" This seemed to be exactly Irving' s view also 
only that he seemed to have thought out every 
jot and tittle of it right down to the ' nth.' He 
had been working out in his own mind the realisa- 
tion of everything whilst my own ideas had been 
scattered, vague, and nebulous. As we grew to 
know the play together it all seemed so natural 
that a lot of my work seemed to do itself. I had 



ABBEY'S DESIGNS 83 

only to put down in form and colour such things as 
were requisite. Of course there had to be much 
consulting of authorities, much study of a technical 
kind and many evasive experiments before I reached 
what I wanted. But after I had talked the play 
over with Irving I never had to be in doubt." 

To my humble mind this setting out of Abbey's 
experience which is in his own words as he talked 
on the subject with me is about as truthful and 
exhaustive an illustration of the purpose and process 
of artistic co-operation as we are ever likely to get. 



IV 

In his designs Abbey brought home to one the 
cachet of mediaeval life. What he implied as well 
as what he showed told at a glance the conditions 
and restrictions the dominant forces of that 
strenuous time : the fierceness and cruelty ; the 
suspicion and distrust ; the horrible crampedness 
of fortress life ; the contempt of death which came 
with the grim uncertainties of daily life. In one of 
his scenes was pictured by inference the life of the 
ladies in such a time and place in a way which one 
could never forget. It was a corner in the interior 
of a castle, high up and out of reach of arrow or 
catapult ; a quiet nook where the women could go in 
safety for a breath of fresh air. Only the sky above 
them was open, for danger would come from any 
side exposed. The most had been made of the little 
space available for the cultivation of a few plants. 
Every little " coign of vantage " made by the 
unequal tiers of the building was seized on for the 



84 HENRY IRVING 

growth of flowers. The strictness of the little high- 
walled bower of peace conveyed forcefully what 
must have been the life of which this was the 
liberty. It was exceedingly picturesque ; a grace 
to the eye as well as an interest to the mind. There 
was a charming effect in a great copper vase in a 
niche of rough stonework, wherein blossomed a 
handful of marigolds. 



V 

In this play Irving was very decided as to the 
" attack." He had often talked with me about 
the proper note to strike at the beginning of the 
play. To him it was one of what should seem to 
be stately seriousness. In Richard's time the 
" Justice " of the King was no light matter ; not 
to take it seriously was to do away with the ultimate 
power of the Monarch. Richard, as is afterwards 
shown, meant to use his kingly power unscrupu- 
lously. He feared both Bolingbroke and Norfolk, 
and meant to get rid of them. So meaning, he 
would of course shroud his unscrupulous intent in 
the ermine of Justice. A hypocrite who proclaims 
himself as such at the very start is not so dangerous 
as he might be, for at once he sounds the note of 
warning to his victims. This, pace the critics, makes 
the action of Bolingbroke simple enough. He saw 
through the weaker Richard's intent of treachery, 
and knew that his only chance lay in counter- 
treachery. A King without scruple was a dangerous 
opponent in the fourteenth century. It was not 
until Richard had violated his pledge regarding the 



A THOUGHTFUL FRIEND 85 

succession and right of Lancaster thus further 
intending to cripple the banished Duke that the 
new Lancaster took arms as his only chance. 

In Irving's reading of the character of Richard 
this intentional hypocrisy did not oppose his florid, 
almost flamboyant, self-torturing vapourings of his 
pain and woe. He is a creature of exaggerations 
of his own greatness, as of his own self-surrender. 

As the production of the play progressed Irving 
began to build greater and greater hopes on it. 
Already when he was taken ill at Glasgow in 1898 
he had expended on the scenery alone for the 
time for costumes and properties had not arrived 
a sum of over sixteen hundred pounds. It was a 
bitter grief to him that he had to abandon the 
idea of playing the part. But he still cherished 
the hope that his son Harry might yet play it on 
the lines he had so studiously prepared. To this 
end he wished to retain the freshness of Abbey's 
work, and when during his long illness, when 
another manager, believing that he intended aban- 
doning the production, wished to secure Abbey's 
co-operation, the painter refused the offer so that 
Irving might later use the work for his son. Abbey, 
though no fee or reward for all his labour had yet 
passed, considered the work done as in some way 
joint property. This generous view endeared him 
more than ever to Irving, who up to the day of 
his death regarded him as one of the best and 
kindest and most thoughtful of his friends. 



LII 

J. BERNARD PARTRIDGE 

Lyceum souvenirs Partridge's method " Putting in the 
noses " The last picture of Irving 

FOR a good many years Bernard Partridge was a 
persona grata at the Lyceum Theatre. He made the 
drawings of Irving and Ellen Terry for the souvenirs 
which we issued for the following plays, Macbeth, 
The Dead Heart, Ravenswood, Henry VIII., King 
Lear, Becket, and King Arthur. He has a wonderful 
gift of " remembering with his eyes." This was 
particularly useful in working any drawing of Henry 
Irving, whose expression altered so much when any- 
thing interested him that he became the despair 
of most draughtsmen. Partridge used to stand on 
the stage and watch him; or sit with him in his 
dressing-room for a chat. He would make certain 
notes with pen and pencil, and then go home and 
draw him. In the meantime Hawes Craven, the 
scene painter, would make sketches in monochrome 
of the scenes chosen for the souvenir, putting in the 
figures but leaving the faces vacant. Then would 
come Bernard Partridge with his own fine brushes 
and Hawes Craven's palette and put in the likeness 
of the various actors. These were so admirably 
done that any one taking up any of the souvenirs 



LAST PORTRAIT 87 

can say who were the actors if, of course, the 
individuality of the latter be known to him. He 
used to laugh whenever I spoke of his " putting in 
the noses." Of course, the single figures were his 
own work entirely. I think in all the years of 
Irving' s management Bernard Partridge was the 
only person outside the personnel of the company 
or staff who was allowed to pass in and out of the 
stage door just as he wished. He used to be 
present at rehearsals from which all others were 
forbidden. 

Thus he came to have an exceptional knowledge 
of Irving' s face in pretty well all its moods and 
phases. For this reason, too, the coloured Frontis- 
piece of this book is of exceptional interest. It 
was the last work of art done from Irving before 
his death. Later on, he was, of course, photo- 
graphed ; the last sun picture done of him was of 
him sitting alongside John Hare, with whom he was 
staying at his place in Overstrand two months 
before he died. But Partridge's pastel was the last 
art study from life. On the evening of iyth July 
1905 he was dining with Mr. and Mrs. Partridge in 
their pretty house in Church Street, Chelsea. Sir 
Francis and Lady Burnand were there and Anstey 
Guthrie, and Mr. Plowden, the magistrate. Irving 
enjoyed the evening much one can see it by the 
happy look in his face. Partridge, in the fashion 
customary to him, made his " eye notes " as Irving 
sat back in his armchair with the front of his shirt 
bulging out after the manner usual to such a pose. 
Early next morning Partridge did the pastel. 

To me it is of priceless worth, not only from its 
pictorial excellence, but because it is the last artistic 



88 HENRY IRVING 

record of my dear friend ; and because it shows him 
in one of the happy moods which alas ! grew rarer 
with his failing health. It gives, of course, a true 
impression of his age he was then in his sixty- 
eighth year ; but all the beauty and intelligence 
and sweetness of his face is there. 



LIII 

ROBERT BROWNING 

Browning and Irving on Shakespeare Edmund Kean's 
purse Kean relics Clint's portrait of Kean 

IT was quite a treat to hear Irving and Robert 
Browning talking. Their conversation, no matter 
how it began, usually swerved round to Shake- 
speare ; as they were both excellent scholars of the 
subject the talk was on a high plane. It was not 
of double-endings or rhyming lines, or of any of 
the points or objects of that intellectual dissection 
which forms the work of a certain order of scholars 
who seem to always want to prove to themselves 
that Shakespeare was Shakespeare and no one else 
and that he was the same man at the end of his 
life that he had been at the beginning. These two 
men took large views. Their ideas were of the lofti- 
ness and truth of his thought ; of the magic music 
of his verse ; of the light which his work threw 
on human nature. Each could quote passages to 
support whatever view he was sustaining. And 
whenever those two men talked, a quiet little group 
grew round them ; all were content to listen when 
they spoke. 

We used to meet Browning at the houses of 
George Boughton, the Royal Academician, and of 



90 HENRY IRVING 

Arthur Lewis, the husband of Kate, the elder sister 
of Ellen Terry. Both lived on Campden Hill, and 
the houses of both were famous for hospitality 
amongst a large circle of friends radiating out from 
the artistic classes. 

Robert Browning once made Irving a present 
which he valued very much. This was the purse, 
quite void of anything in the shape of money, 
which was found, after his death, in the pocket 
of Edmund Kean. It was of knitted green silk 
with steel rings. Charles Kean gave it to John 
Foster who gave it to Browning who gave it to 
Irving. It was sold at Christie's at the sale of 
Irving's curios, with already an illustrious record 
of possessors. 

Irving loved everything which had belonged to 
Edmund Kean, whom he always held to be the 
greatest of British actors. He had quite a collec- 
tion of things which had been his. In addition to 
this purse he had a malacca cane which had come 
from Garrick, to Kean ; the knife which Kean 
wore as Shylock ; his sword and sandals worn by 
him as Lucius Brutus ; a gold medal presented to 
him in 1827 ; his Richard III. sword and boots ; 
the Circassian dagger presented to him by Lord 
Byron. 

He had had also two Kean pictures on which 
he set great store. One of large size was the scene 
from A New Way to Pay Old Debts, in which Kean 
appeared as Sir Giles. The other was the portrait 
done by George Clint as the study for Kean in the 
picture. This latter was the only picture for which 
Edmund Kean ever sat, and Irving valued it 
accordingly, He gave the large picture to the 



MOST VALUED POSSESSION 91 

Garrick Club ; but the portrait he kept for himself. 
It was sold at the sale of his effects at Christie's 
where I had the good fortune to be able to purchase 
it. To me it is of inestimable value, for of all his 
possessions Irving valued it most. 



WALT WHITMAN 

Irving meets Walt Whitman My own friendship and 
correspondence with him Like Tennyson Visit to Walt 
Whitman, 1886 Again in 1887 Walt Whitman's self- 
judgment A projected bust Lincoln's life-work G. W. 
Childs A message from the dead 



IN the early afternoon of Thursday, 2Oth March 
1884, I drove with Irving to the house of Thomas 
Donaldson, 326 North 4oth Street, Philadelphia. 
We went by appointment. Thomas Donaldson it 
was who had, at the dinner given to Irving by 
the Clover Club on December 6, 1883, presented 
him with Edwin Forrest's watch. 

When we arrived Donaldson met us in the hall. 
Irving went into the " parlour" ; Hatton, who was 
with us, and I talked for a minute or so with our 
host. When we went in Irving was looking at a 
fine picture by Moran of the Great Valley of the 
Yellowstone which hung over the fireplace. On the 
opposite side of the room sat an old man of leonine 
appearance. He was burly, with a large head and 
high forehead slightly bald. Great shaggy masses of 
grey-white hair fell over his collar. His moustache 
was large and thick and fell over his mouth so as 
to mingle with the top of the mass of the bushy 



AN OLD FRIEND 93 

flowing beard. I knew at once who it was, but 
just as I looked Donaldson, who had hurried on 
in front, said : 

" Mr. Irving, I want you to know Mr. Walt 
Whitman." His anxiety beforehand and his jubila- 
tion in making the introduction satisfied me that 
the occasion of Irving' s coming had been made one 
for the meeting with the Poet. 

When he heard the name Irving strode quickly 
across the room with outstretched hand. " I am 
delighted to meet you ! " he said, and the two shook 
hands warmly. When my turn came and Donald- 
son said " Bram Stoker," Walt Whitman leaned 
forward suddenly, and held out his hand eagerly 
as he said : 

" Bram Stoker Abraham Stoker is it ? " I 
acquiesced and we shook hands as old friends as 
indeed we were. " Thereby hangs a tale." 



II 

In 1868 when William Michael Rosetti brought 
out his Selected Poems of Walt Whitman it 
raised a regular storm in British literary circles. 
The bitter-minded critics of the time absolutely flew 
at the Poet and his work as watch-dogs do at a 
ragged beggar. Unfortunately there were passages 
in the Leaves of Grass which allowed of attacks, 
and those who did not or could not understand the 
broad spirit of the group of poems took samples 
of detail which were at least deterrent. Doubtless 
they thought that it was a case for ferocious attack ; 



94 HENRY IRVING 

as from these excerpts it would seem that the book 
was as offensive to morals as to taste. They did 
not scruple to give the ipsissima verba of the most 
repugnant passages. 

In my own University the book was received with 
homeric laughter, and more than a few of the 
students sent over to Triibner's for copies of the 
complete Leaves of Grass that being the only 
place where they could then be had. Needless 
to say that amongst young men the objection- 
able passages were searched for and more noxious 
ones expected. For days we all talked of Walt 
Whitman and the new poetry with scorn especially 
those of us who had not seen the book. One day 
I met a man in the Quad who had a copy, and 
I asked him to let me look at it. He acquiesced 
readily : 

" Take the damned thing," he said; "I've had 
enough of it ! " 

I took the book with me into the Park and in 
the shade of an elm tree began to read it. Very 
shortly my own opinion began to form ; it was 
diametrically opposed to that which I had been 
hearing. From that hour I became a lover of Walt 
Whitman. There were a few of us who, quite 
independently of each other, took the same view. 
We had quite a fight over it with our com- 
panions who used to assail us with shafts of their 
humour on all occasions. Somehow, we learned, I 
think, a good deal in having perpetually to argue 
without being able to deny in so far as quota- 
tion went at all events the premisses of our 
opponents. 

However, we were ourselves satisfied, and that was 



AN ATTACK 95 

much. Young men are, as a rule, very tenacious 
of such established ideas as they have perhaps it 
is a fortunate thing for them and others ; and we 
did not expect to convince our friends all at once. 
Fortunately also the feeling of intellectual superio- 
rity which comes with the honest acceptance of 
an idea which others have refused is an anodyne 
to the pain of ridicule. We Walt-Whitmanites had 
in the main more satisfaction than our opponents. 
Edward Dowden was one of the few who in those 
days took the large and liberal view of the Leaves 
of Grass, and as he was Professor of English Litera- 
ture at the University his opinion carried great 
weight in such a matter. He brought the poems 
before the more cultured of the students by a paper 
at the Philosophical Society on May 4, 1871, on 
' Walt Whitman and the Poetry of Democracy." 
To me was given the honour of opening the debate 
on the paper. 

For seven years the struggle in our own circle 
went on. Little by little we got recruits amongst 
the abler young men till at last a little cult was 
established. But the attack still went on. I well 
remember a militant evening at the " Fortnightly 
Club" a club of Dublin men, meeting occasionally 
for free discussions. Occasionally there were meet- 
ings for both sexes. This particular evening 
February 14, 1876 was, perhaps fortunately, not a 
" Ladies' Night." The paper was on " Walt Whit- 
man" and was by a man of some standing socially; 
a man who had had a fair University record and 
was then a county gentleman of position in his 
own county. He was exceedingly able ; a good 
scholar, well versed in both classic and English 



96 HENRY IRVING 

literature, and a brilliant humorist. His paper at 
the " Fortnightly " was a violent, incisive attack 
on Walt Whitman ; had we not been accustomed 
to such for years it would have seemed outrageous. 
I am bound to say it was very clever ; by confining 
himself almost entirely to the group of poems, 
" Children of Adam," he made out, in one way, a 
strong case. But he went too far. In challenging 
the existence in the whole collection of poems for 
mention of one decent woman which is in itself 
ridiculous, for Walt Whitman honoured women 
he drew an impassioned speech from Edward 
Dowden, who finished by reading a few verses from 
the poem " Faces." It was the last section of the 
poem, that which describes a noble figure of an old 
Quaker mother. It ends : 

" The melodious character of the earth, 
The finish beyond which philosophy cannot go, 

and does not wish to go, 
The justified mother of men." 

I followed Dowden in the speaking and we carried 
the question. I find a note in my diary, which if 
egotistical has at least that merit of sincerity which 
is to be found now and again in a man's diary 
when he is young : 

" Spoke I think well." 



Ill 

That night before I went to bed three o'clock 
I wrote a long letter to Walt Whitman. I had 
written to him before, but never so freely ; my 



WALT WHITMAN'S LETTER 97 

letters were only of the usual pattern and did 
not call for answer. But this letter was one in 
which I poured out my heart. I had long wished 
to do so but was, somehow, ashamed or diffi- 
dent the qualities are much alike. That night I 
spoke out ; the stress of the evening had given me 
courage. 

Mails were fewer and slower thirty years ago 
than they are to-day. My letter was written in 
the early morning of February 15. Walt Whit- 
man wrote in answer on March 6, and I received 
it exactly two weeks later ; so that he must have 
written very soon after receipt of my letter. Here 
is his reply : 

"431 STEVENS ST. "CAMDEN, N. JERSEY, 

"CoR. WEST. "U.S. AMERICA, 

" March 6, '76. 

" BRAM STOKER, My dear young man, Your letters 
have been most welcome to me welcome to me as a 
Person and then as Author I don't know which 
most. You did well to write to me so unconven- 
tionally, so fresh, so manly, and so affectionately too. 
I, too, hope (though it is not probable) that we shall 
one day personally meet each other. Meantime I send 
you my friendship and thanks. 

" Edward Dowden's letter containing among others 
your subscription for a copy of my new edition has 
just been rccd. I shall send the book very soon by 
express in a package to his address. I have just 
written to E. D. 

" My physique is entirely shatter'd doubtless per- 
manently from paralysis and other ailments. But 
I am up and dress'd, and get out every day a little, 
live here quite lonesome, but hearty, and good spirits. 
Write to me again. WALT WHITMAN." 

II G 



98 HENRY IRVING 

The books alluded to, which I received on 
9th April, are the two volumes of the Centennial 
Edition of his poems. These were published by 
subscription as a means through which a party of 
friends could help him through a bad time. 

In 1871 a correspondence had begun between Walt 
Whitman and Tennyson which lasted for some 
years. In the first of Tennyson's letters, July 12, 
1871, he had said : 

" I trust that if you visit England, you will grant 
me the pleasure of receiving and entertaining you 
under my own roof." 

This kind invitation took root in Walt Whit- 
man's mind and blossomed into intention. He was 
arranging to come to England, and Edward Dowden 
asked him to prolong his stay and come to Ireland 
also. This was provisionally arranged with him. 
When he should have paid his visit to Tennyson 
he was to come on to Dublin, where his visit was 
to have been shared between Dowden and myself. 
Dowden was a married man with a house of his 
own. I was a bachelor, living in the top rooms of 
a house, which I had furnished myself. We knew 
that Walt Whitman lived a peculiarly isolated life, 
and the opportunity which either one or other of 
us could afford him would fairly suit his taste. He 
could then repeat his visit to either, and prolong 
it as he wished. We had also made provisional 
arrangements for his giving a lecture whilst in 
Dublin ; and as the friends whom we asked were 
eager to take tickets, he would be assured of a sum 
of at least a hundred pounds sterling a large sum 
to him in those days. 



WHITMAN AND TENNYSON 99 

But alas ! 

" The best laid schemes o' mice an' men 
Gang aft agley." 

At the very beginning of 1873 Walt Whitman 
was struck down by a stroke of paralysis which left 
him a wreck for the rest of his days. He could at 
best move but a very little ; the joys of travel and 
visiting distant friends were not to be for him. 



IV 

At the meeting in 1884 he and Irving became 
friends at once. He knew some at least of Walt 
Whitman's work, for we often spoke of it ; I myself 
gave him a two- volume edition. Walt Whitman 
was sitting on a sofa and Irving drew up a chair, 
a large rocker, beside him. They talked together 
for a good while and seemed to take to each other 
mightily. Irving doubtless struck by his height, his 
poetic appearance, his voice, and breadth of manner, 
said presently : 

" You know you are like Tennyson in several 
ways. You quite remind me of him ! " Then 
knowing that many people like their identity to be 
unique and not comparable with any one else, how- 
ever great, he added : 

" You don't mind that, do you ? " The answer 
came quickly : 

" Mind it ! I like it ! I am very proud to be 
told so! I like to be tickled!" He actually 
beamed and chuckled with delight at the praise. 
He always had a lofty idea of Tennyson and respect 



ioo HENRY IRVING 

as well as love for him and his work ; and he 
was hugely pleased at the comparison. He stood 
up so that Irving might gauge his height compara- 
tively with Tennyson's. 

Donaldson in his book on Walt Whitman, pub- 
lished after the Poet's death, wrote of the interview : 

" Mr. Whitman was greatly pleased with Mr. Irving, 
and remarked to me how little of the actor there was 
in his manner or talk. Frequently, after this, Mr. 
Whitman expressed to me his admiration for Mr. 
Irving, now Sir Henry Irving, for his gentle and 
unaffected manners and his evident intellectual power 
and heart." 

Be it remembered that Walt Whitman was fond 
of the theatre and went to it a good deal before 
he was incapacitated by his paralysis ; but he did 
not like the vulgarity of certain actors in their 
posing off the stage. In his day in parts of the 
Southern States and even to this day with a 
certain class of actors in some places a travelling 
company on its arrival had a " parade." They all 
had loud costumes for the purpose, and the whole 
company, men and women, would strut through the 
streets. It was most undignified, and naturally 
offended one who, like the Poet, had the real 
artistic sensitiveness. When he met the great 
actor with whose praise the whole country was 
then ringing and found that he was gentle and 
restrained and unassuming in manner the whole 
craft rose in his estimation. 

When it came to my own turn to have a chat 
with Walt Whitman I found him all that I had 
ever dreamed of, or wished for in him : large- 
minded, broad- viewed, tolerant to the last degree ; 



A MAN AMONGST MEN 101 

incarnate sympathy ; understanding with an insight 
that seemed more than human. Small wonder, I 
thought, that in that terrible war of '61-5 this man 
made a place for himself in the world of aid to the 
suffering which was unique. No wonder that men 
opened their hearts to him told him their secrets, 
their woes and hopes and griefs and loves ! A man 
amongst men ! With a herculean physical strength 
and stamina ; with courage and hope and belief 
that never seemed to tire or stale he moved amongst 
those legions of the wounded and sick like a very 
angel of comfort materialised to an understanding 
man. When it is remembered that in that awful 
war six millions of men went through the hospitals, 
when the calls for medical attendance and hospital 
accommodation could never be adequately answered, 
no wonder that men were grateful to one who 
devoted himself to helping not only their bodies 
but their minds. He lived amongst the suffering, 
distributing such comforts as were supplied to 
him by the charitable ; writing letters to home for 
those who were helpless ; sympathising, encouraging, 
spreading hope and comfort in the way only pos- 
sible to one who walks in the steps of the Master ! 

To me he was an old friend, and on his part he 
made me feel that I was one. We spoke of Dublin 
and those friends there who had manifested them- 
selves to him. He remembered all their names and 
asked me many questions as to their various per- 
sonalities. Before we parted he asked me to come 
to see him at his home in Camden whenever I could 
manage it. Need I say that I promised. 



102 HENRY IRVING 



It was not till after two years that I had oppor- 
tunity to pay my visit to Walt Whitman. The 
cares and responsibilities of a theatre are always 
exacting, and the demands on the time of any one 
concerned in management are so endless that the 
few hours of leisure necessary for such a visit are 
rare. 

At last came a time when I could see my way. 
On 23rd October 1886 I left London for New York, 
arriving on 3ist. I had come over to make out a 
tour for Faust to commence next year. On 2nd 
November I went to Philadelphia by an early train. 
There after I had done my work at the theatre I 
met Donaldson, and as I had time to spare we went 
over to Camden to pay the visit to which I had 
looked forward so long. 

His house, 328 Mickle Street, was a small ordinary 
one in a row, built of the usual fine red brick which 
marks Philadelphia and gives it an appearance so 
peculiarly Dutch. It was a small house, though large 
enough for his needs. He sat in the front room in 
a big rocking chair which Donaldson's children had 
given him ; it had been specially made for him, as 
he was a man of over six feet high and very thick- 
set. He was dressed all in grey, the trousers 
cut straight and wide, and the coat loose. All the 
cloth was a sort of thick smooth frieze. His shirt 
was of rather coarse cotton, unstarched, with a 
very wide full collar open low very low in the neck 
and fastened with a big white stud. The old lady 
who cared for him and nursed him had for him a 
manifest admiration. She evidently liked to add 



THE REAL LINCOLN 103 

on her own account some little adornment ; she 
had fastened a bit of cheap narrow lace on his 
wide soft shirt-cuffs and at the neck of his collar. 
It was clumsily sewn on and was pathetic to see, 
for it marked a limited but devoted intelligence 
used for his care. The cuffs of his coat were un- 
usually deep and wide and were stuck here .and 
there with pins which he used for his work. His 
hair seemed longer and wilder and shaggier and 
whiter than when I had seen him two years before. 
He seemed feebler, and when he rose from his chair 
or moved about the room did so with difficulty. I 
could notice his eyes better now. They were not so 
quick and searching as before ; tireder-looking, I 
thought, with the blue paler and the grey less 
warm in colour. Altogether the whole man looked 
more worn out. There was not, however, any 
symptom of wear or tire in his intellectual or psychic 
faculties. 

He seemed genuinely glad to see me. He was 
most hearty in his manner and interested about 
everything. Asked much about London and its 
people, specially those of the literary world ; and 
spoke of Irving in a way that delighted me. Our 
conversation presently drifted towards Abraham 
Lincoln for whom he had an almost idolatrous 
affection. I confess that in this I shared ; and it 
was another bond of union between us. He said : 

" No one will ever know the real Abraham Lincoln 
or his place in history ! " 

I had of course read his wonderful description 
of the assassination by Wilkes Booth given in his 
Memoranda during the War, published in 'the volume 
called Two Rivulets in the Centennial Edition of 



io 4 HENRY IRVING 

his works in 1876. This is so startlingly vivid that 
I thought that the man who had written it could 
tell me more. So I asked him if he were present 
at the time. He said : 

" No, I was not present at the time of the 
assassination ; but I was close to the theatre and 
was one of the first in when the news came. Then 
I afterwards spent the better part of the night in- 
terviewing many of those who were present and of 
the President's Guard, who, when the terrible word 
came out that he had been murdered, stormed the 
house with fixed bayonets. It was a wonder that 
there was not a holocaust, for it was a wild frenzy 
of grief and rage. It might have been that the 
old sagas had been enacted again when amongst 
the Vikings a Chief went to the Valhalla with a 
legion of spirits around him ! " 

The memory of that room will never leave me. 
The small, close room it was cold that day and 
when we came in he had lit his stove, which soon 
grew almost red-hot ; the poor furniture ; the dim 
light of the winter afternoon struggling in through 
the not over large window shadowed as it was by 
the bare plane tree on the sidewalk, whose branches 
creaked in the harsh wind ; the floor strewn in 
places knee-deep with piles of newspapers and books 
and all the odds and ends of a literary working 
room. Amongst them were quite a number of old 
hats of the soft grey wide-brimmed felt which he 
always wore. 

I was more interested than I can say and was 
loth to leave. I had to catch the 4.30 train to 
New York, there to meet General Horace Porter, 
with whom I was to travel that night to Boston, 



A VISIT 105 

where he was to lecture at the Tremont Temple 
on " General Grant " to the Loyal Legion. We were 
to sup with the Loyal Legion afterwards. Donald- 
son and I had arrived at Mickle Street about three, 
and at four we left. I think Walt Whitman was 
really sorry to have us go. Indeed Thomas Donald- 
son describes the visit. I venture to give it in 
extenso, even at the cost of seeming vain. But I 
was and am proud of it and I humbly think I 
have good reason to be : 

" Mr. Bram Stoker, a man of intelligence and culti- 
vation, having had the advantage of association with 
the most cultivated in all walks of contemporary 
English life, was at his best. Mr. Whitman was 
captivated. Mr. Stoker had previously met Mr. Whit- 
man at my house in Philadelphia in 1884. We 
remained an hour, and then left in spite of his protest. 
Many days after this visit he referred to it by saying : 
' And friend Stoker ; where is he now ? ' I replied, 
* In Chicago.' [In this, by the way, Donaldson,'writing 
ten years after the event, made a slight error. We 
paid two visits together, 1886 and 1887 it is to the 
latter that Chicago referred.] ' Well, well ; what a 
broth of a boy he is ! My gracious, he knows enough 
for four or five ordinary men ; and what tact ! Henry 
Irving knows a good thing when he sees it, eh ? Stoker 
is an adroit lad, and many think that he made Mr. 
living's path, in a business way, a smooth one over 
here.' I replied ' Indeed ! ' 'I should say so,' was 
his answer. ' See that he comes over again to see 
me before he leaves the country. He's like a breath 
of good, healthy, breezy sea air.' ' 

I can only ask pardon for the quotation. But I 
think it justifies itself and bears out all that I have 
already said. It was contemporary and not even 
in my knowledge till Donaldson sent me his book 
in 1896. 



io6 HENRY IRVING 



VI 

The opportunity for my next visit to Walt Whit- 
man came in the winter of 1887 when we were 
playing in Philadelphia. On the 22nd December 
Donaldson and I again found our way over to 
Mickle Street. In the meantime I had had much 
conversation about Walt Whitman with many of 
his friends. The week after my last interview I 
had been again in Philadelphia for a day, on the 
evening of which I had dined with his friend and 
mine, Talcott Williams of the Press. During the 
evening we talked much of Walt Whitman, and we 
agreed that it was a great pity that he did not 
cut certain lines and passages out of the poems. 
Talcott Williams said he would do it if permitted, 
and I said I would speak to Walt Whitman about 
it whenever we should meet again. The following 
year, 1887, I breakfasted with Talcott Williams, 
igth December, and in much intimate conversation" 
we spoke of the subject again. 

We found Walt Whitman hale and well. His 
hair was more snowy white than ever and more 
picturesque. He looked like King Lear in Ford 
Madox Brown's picture. He seemed very glad to 
see me and greeted me quite affectionately. He 
said he was " in good heart," and looked bright 
though his body had distinctly grown feebler. 

I ventured to speak to him what was in my 
mind as to certain excisions in his work. I 
said : 

" If you will only allow your friends to do this 
they will only want to cut about a hundred lines 



RESPONSIBILITY 107 

in all your books will go into every house in 
America. Is not that worth the sacrifice ? " He 
answered at once, as though his mind had long 
ago been made up and he did not want any special 
thinking : 

f< It would not be any sacrifice. So far as I am 
concerned they might cut a thousand. It is not 
that it is quite another matter : " here both face 
and voice grew rather solemn " when I wrote as 
I did I thought I was doing right and right makes 
for good. I think so still. I think that all that 
God made is for good that the work of His hands 
is clean in all ways if used as He intended ! If I 
was wrong I have done harm. And for that I 
deserve to be punished by being forgotten ! It has 
been and cannot not-be. No, I shall never cut a 
line so long as I live ! " 

One had to respect a decision thus made and on 
such grounds. I said no more. 

When we were going he held up his hand saying, 
" Wait a minute." He got up laboriously and 
hobbled out of the room and to his bedroom over- 
head. There we heard him moving about and 
shifting things. It was nearly a quarter of an hour 
when he came down holding in his hand a thin 
green-covered volume and a printed picture of him- 
self. He wrote on the picture with his indelible 
blue pencil. Then he handed to me both book and 
picture, saying : 

" Take these and keep them from me and Good- 
bye ! " 

The book was the 1872 edition of the Leaves of 
Grass " As a Strong Bird on Pinions Free " and 
contained his autograph in ink. The picture was a 



io8 HENRY IRVING 

photograph by Gutekunst, of Philadelphia. On it 
he had written : 

To 
Bram Stoker. 

Walt Whitman. Dec. 22, '87. 

That was the last time I ever saw the man who 
for nearly twenty years I had held in my heart as 
a dear friend. 



VII 

When I had come to New York after my visit 
to Walt Whitman in 1886 I made it my business 
to see Augustus St. Gaudens, the sculptor, regarding 
a project which had occurred to me. That was to 
have him do a bust of Walt Whitman. He jumped 
at the idea, and said it would be a delight to him 
that there ought to be such a record of the great 
Poet and that he would be proud to do it. I 
arranged that I should ask if he could have the 
necessary facilities from Walt Whitman. We 
thought that I could do it best as I knew him and 
those of his friends who were closest to him. I 
made inquiries at once through Donaldson, and 
when business took me again to Philadelphia, on 
8th and Qth November, we arranged the matter. 
Walt Whitman acquiesced and was very pleased at 
the idea. I wrote the necessary letters and left 
addresses and so forth with St. Gaudens. He was 
at that time very busy with his great statue of 
Abraham Lincoln for Chicago. Incidentally I saw 
in his studio the life mask and hands of Lincoln 



A PROJECTED BUST 109 

made by the sculptor Volk before he went to 
Washington for his first Presidency. The mould 
had just been found by the sculptor's son twenty- 
five years after their making. Twenty men joined 
to purchase the models and present them to the 
nation. St. Gaudens made casts in bronze of the 
face and hands with a set for each of the twenty 
subscribers with his name in each case cut in the 
bronze. Henry Irving and I had the honour of 
being two of the twenty. The bronze mask and 
hands, together with the original plaster moulds, 
rest in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington 
with a bronze plate recording the history and the 
names of the donors. I felt proud when, some years 
later, I saw by chance my own name in such a 
place, in such company, and for such a cause. 

Before leaving New York, which I did on 
November 1886, I saw a good many friends, and 
arranged with them that we should each pay a 
certain sum towards a fund which would at least 
defray out-of-pocket expenses of casting the bronze 
bust of Walt Whitman when St. Gaudens should 
have done it. 

Unhappily, for want of time for he was over- 
whelmed with work and other causes, St. Gaudens 
could not get to Philadelphia for a long time. Then 
Walt Whitman got another stroke of paralysis early 
in 1888. Before the combination of possibilities 
came when he could sit to the sculptor and the latter 
could give the time to the work he died. 

Happily he did not in the last years of his life 
want for anything. He earned enough for his 
wants, and if anything were lacking for comforts it 
came. He had good friends. In 1889 Irving sent 



no HENRY IRVING 

him a cheque for which he was grateful. But there 
was one friend as willing as able to help ; that 
was George W. Childs, owner and editor of the 
Philadelphian Ledger. He was always doing kind 
and generous things, and used to ask certain of his 
friends to suggest good cases for help. Once he 
asked me if there was anything of the kind which 
I wished him to do. This was in his office on 
December 14, 1887. Irving and I had been to see 
him. Irving stayed for only a short while, but 
I remained as I was going with Mr. Childs to lunch 
with " Tony " Drexel in the Bank parlour of his 
great bank in Chestnut Street. When he asked me 
if I wished him to do anything, I said : 

" Yes, Mr. Childs, there is Walt Whitman ! A lot 
of us are anxious about him for he is old and feeble 
and in bad health. Moreover, though he is not in 
want, he is poor. His needs are very small, but in 
his state of health they are likely to be continuous. 
We are all willing to help, but we are scattered about 
and may not know. It will be very good of you if 
you will have an eye on him." He was sitting down, 
but he rose up as he said very sweetly : 

" Thank you very much, my dear Bram Stoker, 
for speaking to me about him. But be quite 
assured and easy in your mind. Walt Whitman 
will never want. That is already seen to." It was 
only after his death and Walt Whitman's that 
Donaldson, who looked after the Poet's affairs for 
him, knew that the $1200, which had relieved the 
mortgage on Whitman's house in Mickle Street, had 
been secretly paid by Mr. Childs. 

Let me lay the memory of this kindness as a flower 
on the grave of a good man. 



A MESSAGE FROM THE DEAD in 

VIII 

I was not in America between the spring of 1888 
and the early fall of 1893 at which time Irving 
opened the tour in San Francisco. We did not 
reach Philadelphia till towards the end of January 
1894. In the meantime Walt Whitman had died, 
March 26, 1892. On 4th February I spent the 
afternoon with Donaldson in his home. Shortly 
after I came in he went away for a minute and 
came back with a large envelope which he handed 
to me : 

" That is for you from Walt Whitman. I have 
been keeping it till I should see you." 

The envelope contained in a rough card folio 
pasted down on thick paper the original notes from 
which he delivered his lecture on Abraham Lincoln 
at the Chestnut Street Opera House on April 15, 
1886. 

With it was a letter to Donaldson, in which he 
said : 

" Enclosed I send a full report of my Lincoln Lecture 
for our friend Bram Stoker." 

This was my Message from the Dead. 



LV 

JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY 

Supper on a car A sensitive mountaineer " Good-bye, 
Jim " 

IRVING, like all who have ever known him, loved 
the " Hoosier " poet. We saw a great deal of him 
when he was in London ; and whenever we were in 
Indianapolis, to meet him was one of the expected 
pleasures. Riley is one of the most dramatic re- 
citers that live, and when he gives one of his own 
poems it is an intellectual delight. I remember 
two specially delightful occasions in which he was 
a participant. Once in Indianapolis when he came 
and supped on the car with us whilst we were 
waiting after the play for the luggage to be loaded. 
He was in great form, and Irving sat all the time 
with an expectant smile whilst Riley told us of 
some of his experiences amongst the hill folk of 
Indiana where conditions of life are almost primi- 
tive. One tale gave Irving intense pleasure that 
in which he told of how he had asked a mountaineer 
who was going down to the nearest town to bring 
him back some tobacco. This the man had done 
gladly ; but when Riley went to pay him the cost 
of it he drew his gun on him. When the other 
asked the cause of offence, which he did not intend 
or even understand, the mountaineer answered : 



A SENSITIVE MOUNTAINEER 113 

" Didn't I do what ye asked me ! Then why 
do you go for to insult me. I ain't a tobacker 
dealer. I bought it for ye, an' I give it to ye free 
and glad. I ain't sellin' it ! " 

The other occasion was a dinner at the Savoy 
Hotel, July 29, 1891, to which Irving had asked 
some friends to meet him. " Jamesy " for so 
his friends call him recited several of his poems, 
most exquisitely. His rendering of the powerful 
little poem, " Good-bye, Jim," made every one 
of the other eight men at the table weep. 



n H 



LVI 

ERNEST RENAN 

Renan and Haweis How to converse in a language you 
don't know 

ON April 3, 1880, when we were playing The Merchant 
of Venice, Ernest Renan came to the Lyceum ; the 
Rev. H. R. Haweis was with him. At the end of 
the third act they both came round to Irving's 
dressing-room. It was interesting to note the pro- 
gress through the long Royal passage of that 
strangely assorted pair. Haweis was diminutive, 
and had an extraordinary head of black hair. 
Renan was ponderously fat and bald as a billiard 
ball. The historian waddled along with an odd 
rolling gait, whilst the preacher, who was lame, 
hopped along like a sort of jackdaw. The con- 
versation between Irving and Renan was a strange 
one to listen to. Neither knew the other's language ; 
but each kept talking his own with, strange to say, 
the result that they really understood something of 
what was said. When I was alone with Irving and 
remarked on it he said : 

" If you don't know the other person's language, 
keep on speaking your own. Do not get hurried 
or flustered, but keep as natural as you can ; your 
intonation, being natural, will convey something. 
You have a far better chance of being understood 
than if you try to talk a language you don't know ! " 



LVII 



HALL CAINE 

A remarkable criticism Irving and " The Deemster" 
" Mahomet " For reasons of State Weird remembrances 
" The Flying Dutchman " " Home, Sweet Home " 
" Glory and John Storm" Irving and the chimpanzee 
A dangerous moment Unceremonious treatment of a 
lion Irving' s last night at the play 



THE early relations between Irving and Hall Caine 
are especially interesting, considering the positions 
which both men afterwards attained. They began 
in 1874. On the i6th of October in that year 
Irving wrote to him a very kindly and friendly 
letter in answer to Hall Caine' s request that he 
should allow his portrait to be inserted in a monthly 
magazine which he was projecting. 

A fortnight later Hall Caine, as critic of the 
Liverpool Town Crier , attended the first night of 
Hamlet at the Lyceum 3ist October 1874. His 
criticism was by many friends thought so excellent 
that he was asked to reprint it. This was done in 
the shape of a broad-sheet pamphlet. The critique 
is throughout keen and appreciative. The last two 
paragraphs are worthy of preservation : 

"To conclude. Throughout this work (which is 
not confined to the language of terror and pity, the 
language of impassioned intellect, but includes also 



n6 HENRY IRVING 

the words of everyday life), every passage has its 
proper pulse and receives from the actor its char- 
acteristic mode of expression. Every speech is good 
and weighty, correct and dignified, and treated with 
feeling. The variety, strength and splendour of the 
whole conception have left impressions which neither 
time nor circumstance can ever efface. They are 
happy, indeed, who hear Hamlet first from Mr. Irving. 
They may see other actors essay the part (a very 
improbable circumstance whilst Mr. Irving holds his 
claim to it), but the memory of the noble embodiment 
of the character will never leave them. 

" We will not say that Mr. Irving is the Betterton, 
Garrick, or Kemble of his age. In consideration of 
this performance we claim for him a position altogether 
distinct and unborrowed. Mr. Irving will, we judge, 
be the leader of a school of actors now eagerly enlist- 
ing themselves under his name. The object will be 
the triumph of mental over physical histrionic art." 

This critical forecast is very remarkable con- 
sidering the writer's age. At that time he was only 
in his twenty-second year. He had been writing 
and lecturing for already some time and making a 
little place for himself locally as a man of letters. 

Two years later they had a meeting by Irving's 
request. This was during a visit to Liverpool 
whilst the actor was on tour. There began a close 
friendship which lasted till Irving's death. Caine 
seemed to intuitively understand not only Irving's 
work but his aim and method. Irving felt this 
and had a high opinion of Caine's powers. I do 
not know any one whose opinions interested him 
more. There was to both men a natural expression 
of intellectual frankness, as if they held the purpose 
as well as the facts of ideas in common. The two 
men were very much alike in certain intellectual 



IRVING AND HALL CAINE 117 

ways. To both was given an almost abnormal 
faculty of self-abstraction and of concentrating all 
their powers on a given subject for any length of 
time. To both was illimitable patience in the doing 
of their work. And in yet one other way their 
powers were similar : a faculty of getting up and 
ultimately applying to the work in hand an amazing 
amount of information. When Irving undertook 
a character he set himself to work to inform him- 
self of the facts appertaining to it when the time 
for acting it came, it was found that he knew pretty 
well all that could be known about it. Hall Caine 
was also a " glutton " in the same way. He ab- 
sorbed facts and ideas almost by an instinct and 
assimilated them with natural ease. For instance, 
when he went to Morocco to get local colour before 
writing The Scapegoat he so steeped himself in the 
knowledge of Jewish life and ideas and ritual that 
those who read his book almost accepted him as 
an authority on the subject. 



II 

When Hall Caine published The Deemster in 1887 
Irving was one of its most appreciative admirers. 
We were then on tour in America and he naturally 
got hold of the book a little later than its great 
and sudden English success. Still he read it un- 
prejudiced by its success and thought it would 
make a fine play. When we got back to England 
early in April 1888, he took his earliest opportunity 
of approaching the author ; but only to find that 
he had already entered into an arrangement with 



n 8 HENRY IRVING 

Wilson Barrett with regard to dramatisation of the 
novel. 

Irving' s view of this was different to that of 
both Caine and Barrett. To him the dramatic 
centre and pivotal point of the play that would be 
most effective was the Bishop. Had the novel 
been available he would Caine being willing to 
dramatise it or to allow it to be dramatised by some 
one else have played it on those lines. 

I think it was a great pity that this could not 
be, for Irving and Hall Caine would have made a 
wonderful team. The latter was compact of imagi- 
nation and then undeveloped dramatic force. 
With Irving to learn from, in the way of acting 
needs and development, he would surely have done 
some dramatic work of wonderful introspection and 
intensity. As he will do yet ; though his road has 
been a rough one. 

From that time on, Irving had a strong desire 
that Caine should write some play that he could 
act. Time after time he suggested subjects ; 
theories that he could deal with ; characters good 
to act. But there seemed to be always some im- 
passe set by Fate. For instance, Irving had had 
for a long time a desire to act the part of Mahomet, 
and after the publication in France of the play on 
the subject by De Bornier it seemed to be feasible. 
Herein too came the memory of the promptings 
and urging of Sir Richard Burton of some three 
years before as to the production of an Eastern 
play. De Bornier's play he found would not suit 
his purpose ; so he suggested to Hall Caine that 
he should write one on the subject. Caine jumped 
at the idea he too had a desire to deal with an 



A MEMORY 119 

Eastern theme. He thought the matter out, and 
had before long evolved a scenario. Well do I 
remember the time he put it before me. At that 
time he was staying with me, and on the afternoon 
of Sunday, January 26, 1890, he said he would like 
to give his idea of the play. He had already had 
a somewhat trying morning, for he had made an 
appointment with an interviewer and had had a 
long meeting with him. Work, however, was is 
always a stimulant to Hall Caine. The use of his 
brain seems to urge and stimulate it "as if in- 
crease of appetite had grown by what it fed on." 
Now in the dim twilight of the late January after- 
noon, sitting in front of a good fire of blazing billets 
of old ship timber, the oak so impregnated with 
salt and saltpetre that the flames leaped in rain- 
bow colours, he told the story as he saw it. Hall 
Caine always knows his work so well and has such 
a fine memory that he never needs to look at a 
note. That evening he was all on fire. His image 
rises now before me. He sits on a low chair in 
front of the fire ; his face is pale something waxen- 
looking in the changing blues of the flame. His 
red hair, fine and long, and pushed back from his 
high forehead, is so thin that through it as the 
flames leap we can see the white line of the head 
so like to Shakespeare's. He is himself all aflame. 
His hands have a natural eloquence something like 
Irving' s ; they foretell and emphasise the coming 
thoughts. His large eyes shine like jewels as the 
firelight flashes. Only my wife and I are present, 
sitting like Darby and Joan at either side of the 
fireplace. As he goes on he gets more and more 
afire till at the last he is like a living flame. We 



120 HENRY IRVING 

sit quite still ; we fear to interrupt him. The end 
of his story leaves us fired and exalted too. . . . 

He was quite done up ; the man exhausts him- 
self in narrative as I have never seen with any 
one else. Indeed when he had finished a novel he 
used to seem as exhausted as a woman after child- 
birth. At such times he would be in a terrible 
state of nerves trembling and sleepless. At that 
very time he had not quite got through the nervous 
crisis after the completion of The Bondman. At 
such times everything seemed to worry him ; things 
that he would shortly after laugh at. This is part 
of the penalty that genius pays to great effort. 



Ill 

The next day, January 27, 1890, in the office at 
the Lyceum, Caine told not read to Irving the 
story of his play on Mahomet. Irving was very 
pleased with it, and it was of course understood that 
Caine was to go on and carry out the idea. He 
set to work on it with his usual fiery energy, and 
in a few months had evolved a scenario so complete 
that it was a volume in itself. By this time it was 
becoming known that Irving had in mind the play- 
ing of Mahomet. The very fact of approaching De 
Bornier regarding his play had somehow leaked 
out. As often happens in matters theatrical there 
came a bolt from the blue. None of us had the 
slightest idea that there could be any objection in 
a professedly Christian nation to a play on the 
subject. A letter was received from the Lord 
Chamberlain's department, which controls the 



THE EMPIRE AND THE STAGE 121 

licences of theatres and plays, asking that such a 
play should not be undertaken. The reason given 
was that protest had been made by a large number 
of our Mahometan fellow-subjects. The Mahometan 
faith holds it sacrilege to represent in any form the 
image of the Prophet. The Lord Chamberlain's 
department does its spiriting very gently ; all that 
those in contact with it are made aware of is the 
velvet glove. But the steel hand works all the 
same perhaps better than if stark. It is an 
understood thing that the Lord Chamberlain's re- 
quest is a command in matters under his juris- 
diction. Britain with her seventy millions of 
Mahometan subjects does not wish and cannot 
afford to offend their sensibilities for the sake of 
a stage play. Irving submitted gracefully at once, 
of course. Caine was more than nice on the 
matter ; he refused to accept fee or reward of any 
kind for his work. He simply preserved his work 
by privately printing, three years later, the scenario 
as a story in dramatic form. He altered it suffi- 
ciently to change the personnel of the time and 
place of Mahomet, laying the story of The Mahdi 
in modern Morocco. 

This was not Irving's first experience of the 
action on a political basis of the Lord Chamberlain. 
I shall have something to say of it when treating 
of Frank Marshall's play, Robert Emmett. 



IV 

During the visit to me in Edinburgh in 1891 
Irving and Caine saw much of one another. On 



122 HENRY IRVING 

the i8th we took supper with Dr. Andrew 
Wilson, an old friend of us all, at the Northern 
Club. That night both Irving and Caine were in 
great form and the conversation was decidedly 
interesting. It began with a sort of discussion 
about Shakespeare as a dramatist on the working 
side ; his practical execution of his own imagina- 
tive intention. Hall Caine held that Shakespeare 
would not have put in his plays certain descriptions 
if he had had modern stage advantages to explain 
without his telling. Irving said that it would be 
good for moderns if they would but take Shake- 
speare's lesson in this matter. Later on the con- 
versation tended towards weird subjects. Caine 
told of seeing in a mirror a reflection not his own. 
Irving followed by telling us of his noticing an 
accidental effect in a mirror, which he afterwards 
used in the Macbeth ghost : that of holding the 
head up. The evening was altogether a fascinating 
one ; it was four o'clock when we broke up. 



On November 19, 1892, Hall Caine supped with 
Irving in the Beefsteak Room, bringing his young 
son Ralph with him. The only other guest was 
Sir (then Mr.) Alexander Mackenzie. It was a 
delightful evening, a long, pleasant, home-like chat. 
Irving was very quiet and listened attentively to 
all Caine said. The latter told us the story of the 
novel he had just then projected. The scene was 
to be laid in Cracow to which he was shortly to 
make his way. 



"THE DEMON LOVER" 123 

Irving was hugely interested. Any form of 
oppression was noxious to him ; and certainly the 
Jewish " Exodus " that was just then going on 
came under that heading. I think that he had in 
his mind the possibilities of a new and powerful 
play. As I said he was most anxious to have a 
play by Hall Caine, and after the abortive attempt 
at Mahomet, he was more set on it than ever. 

He had before this suggested to Caine that he 
should do a play on the subject of the " Flying 
Dutchman." The play which he had done in 1878, 
Vanderdecken, was no good as a play, though he 
played in it admirably. For my own part I be- 
lieved in the subject and always wanted him to 
try it again the play, of course, being tinkered 
into something like good shape, or a new play 
altogether written. The character, as Irving created 
it, was there fit for any setting ; and so long as 
the play should be fairly sufficient the result ought 
to be good. Irving had a great opinion of Caine's 
imagination, and always said that he would write 
a great work of weirdness some day. He knew 
already his ability and his fire and his zeal. He 
believed also in the convincing force of the man. 



VI 

In 1894 Hall Caine wrote a poem called The 
Demon Lover, in which he found material for a play. 
He made a scenario, which he told rather than 
read to Irving after supper in the Beefsteak Room 
on St. Valentine's day of the next year, 1895. 
Irving was much impressed by it but thought that 



i2 4 HENRY IRVING 

the part would of necessity be too young for him 
he was then fifty-six. He asked Caine again to 
try the " Flying Dutchman." 

In the June of next year 1896 we were in Man- 
chester in the course of a tour. Hall Caine came 
over from the Isle of Man to stay with me, bringing 
with him the scenario of a play on the " Flying 
Dutchman " and also the scenario of a new play 
which he had just completed, Home, Sweet Home. 
He read, or rather told, me the latter with the 
MS. open before him. He never, however, turned 
the pages ! The next forenoon we went by previous 
arrangement to Irving' s rooms at the Queen's 
Hotel. There he read or told from his script 
the scenario of his play on the " Flying Dutch- 
man." We discussed it then, and afterwards during 
a carriage drive, Irving asked Caine if he could 
not make the character of Vanderdecken more 
sympathetic and less brutal at the start. Caine 
having promised to go into this and see what 
he could do, then told the story of Home, Sweet 
Home. Irving feared from the description that the 
play would not do for him. In Act I. the char- 
acter was too young ; in Act II. too rough ; and 
in Act III. too tall. For his objection in the last 
case he gave a reason, enlightening in the matter 
of stage craft : 

" There is no general sympathy on the stage for 
tall old men ! " 

Finally Caine told us the story of his coming 
novel, which was afterwards called The Christian. 
He knew it in his own mind by the tentative title 
which he used, " Glory and John Storm." 



"JOCK" 125 

VII 

In the afternoon we all went to the Bellevue 
Gardens to see a wonderful chimpanzee, " Jock," a 
powerful animal and more clever even than " Sally," 
who was then the great public pet at the " Zoo " 
in Regent's Park. Ellen Terry came with us and 
also Corny ns Carr, who had arrived from London. 
Jock was certainly an abnormal brute. He rode 
about the grounds on a tricycle of his own ! He 
ate his food from a plate with knife and fork and 
spoon ! He slept in a bed with sheets and blankets ! 
He smoked cigarettes ! And he drank wine when 
he could get it ! His favourite tipple was port 
wine and lemonade, and he was very conservative 
in his rights regarding it. Indeed in this case it 
was very nearly productive of a grim tragedy. 

We went into a little room close to the keeper's 
house ; a sort of general refreshment room with 
wooden benches round it and a table in the centre. 
Jock had his cigarette ; then his grog was mixed 
to his great and anxious interest. The keeper 
handed him the tumbler, which he held tight in 
both hands whilst he went through some hanky- 
panky pantomime of thanks usually, I took it, 
productive of pennies. Irving said to the keeper : 

" Would he give you some of that, now ? " The 
man shook his head as he answered : 

" He doesn't like to, but he will if I ask him. 
I have to be careful though." He asked Jock, 
who very .unwillingly let him take the tumbler, 
following it with his hands. The arms stretched 
out as it went farther from him ; but the hands 
always remained close to the glass. The man just 



126 HENRY IRVING 

put the edge of the glass to his mouth and then 
handed it back quickly. The monkey had acted 
with considerable self-restraint, and looked im- 
mensely relieved when he had his drink safe back 
again. Then Irving said : 

" Let me see if he will let me have some ! " The 
keeper spoke to the monkey, keeping his eye 
fixedly on him. Irving took the glass from his 
manifestly unwilling hands and raised it to his own 
lips. Being a better actor than the keeper he did 
his part more realistically, actually letting the liquid 
rise over his shut lips. 

The instant the monkey saw his beloved liquor 
touch the mouth he became a savage a veritable, 
red-eyed, restrainless demon. With a sudden 
hideous screech he dashed out his arms, one of 
them catching Irving by the throat, the other 
seizing the glass. It made us all gasp and grow 
pale. The brute was so strong and so savage that 
it might have torn out his windpipe before a hand 
could have been raised. Fortunately Irving did 
instinctively the only thing that could be done ; 
he yelled just as suddenly in the face of the 
monkey an appalling yell which seemed to push 
the brute back. At the same moment he thrust 
away from him the glass in the animal's other 
paw. The monkey, loosing its hold on his throat, 
jumped back across the wide table with incredible 
quickness without losing its seated attitude, and 
sat clutching the tumbler close to his breast and 
showing his teeth whilst he manifested his rage in 
a hideous trumpeting. 

Before that, at our first coming into the room 
he had nearly frightened the life out of Ellen 



ANOTHER MONKEY 127 

Terry. She had sat down on the bench along the 
wall. The monkey looked at her and seemed 
attracted by her golden hair. He came and sat 
by her on the bench and, turning over, laid his 
head in her lap, looking up at her and at the same 
time putting up his paw as big as a man's hand 
and as black and shiny as though covered with an 
undertaker's funeral glove. She looked down, saw 
his eyes, and with a scream made a jump for the 
doorway. The monkey laughed. He had a sense 
of humour of his own kind, which was not of a 
high kind. 

A little later he regained his good temper and 
forgave us all. When we went round the gardens 
he got on his tricycle and came with us. In the 
monkey house was a great cage as large as an 
ordinary room, and here were a large number of 
monkeys of a mixed kind. Our gorilla for such 
he really was started to amuse himself with them. 
He got a great stick and standing close to the cage 
hammered furiously at the bars, all the while 
trumpeting horribly. In the midst of it he would 
look round at us with a grin, as much as to say : 

" See how I am frightening these inferior crea- 
tures ! " They were in an agony of fear, crouching 
in the farthest corners of the great cage, moaning 
and shivering. 



VIII 

Irving had had an incident with a monkey some 
years before. On June 16, 1887, we went to Strat- 
ford-on-Avon, where he was to open a fountain the 



128 HENRY IRVING 

next day. We stayed with Mr. C. E. Flower, at 
Avonbank, his beautiful place on the river. In his 
conservatory was a somewhat untamed monkey ; 
not a very large one, but with anger enough for a 
wilderness of monkeys. Frank Marshall, who was 
of our party, would irritate the monkey when we 
went to smoke in there after dinner. It got so 
angry with his puffing his smoke at it that it shook 
the cage to such an extent that we thought it 
would topple over. We persuaded Marshall to come 
away alone, and then Irving, who loved animals, 
went over to pacify the monkey. The latter, how- 
ever, did not discriminate between malice and good 
intent, and when Irving bent down to say soothing 
things to it a long arm flashed out and catching 
him by the hair began to drag his head towards 
the cage, the other paw coming out towards his 
eyes. It was an anxious moment ; but this time, 
as on the later occasion, a sudden screech of full 
lung power from the actor frightened the monkey 
into releasing him. 



IX 

Irving loved all animals, and did not, I think, 
realise the difference between pets and force naturce. 
I remember once at Baltimore it was the 
ist January 1900 when he and I went to Hagen- 
bach's menagerie which was then in winter quarters. 
The hall was a big one, the shape of one of those 
great panorama buildings which used to be so 
popular in America. There were some very fine 
lions ; and to one of them he took a great fancy. 



UNCEREMONIOUS TREATMENT 129 

It was a fine African, young and in good condition 
with magnificent locks and whiskers and eyebrows, 
and whatsoever beauties on a hairy basis there are 
to the lion kind. It was sleeping calmly in its 
cage with its head up against the bars. The keeper 
recognised Irving and came up to talk and explain 
things very eagerly. Irving asked him about the 
lion ; if it was good-tempered and so forth. The 
man said it was a very good-tempered animal, 
and offered to make him stand, up and show him- 
self off. His method of doing so was the most 
unceremonious thing of the kind I ever saw, it 
showed absolutely no consideration whatever for 
the lion's amour-propre or fine feelings. He caught 
up a broom that leaned against the cage a birch 
broom with the business end not of resilient twigs 
but of thin branches cut off with a sharp knife. 
It was the sort of scrubbing broom that would take 
the surface off an ordinary deal flooring. This he 
seized and drove it with the utmost violence in his 
power right into the animal's face. I should have 
thought that no eye could have escaped from such an 
attack. He repeated the assault as often as there 
was time before the lion had risen and jumped back. 

Irving was very indignant, and spoke out his 
mind very freely. The keeper answered him very 
civilly indeed I thought. His manner was genuinely 
respectful as he said : 

" That's all very well, Mr. Irving. But it doesn't 
work with lions ! There's only one thing that such 
animals respect ; and that's force. Why, that 
treatment that you complain of will save my life 
some day. It wouldn't be worth a week's purchase 
without it ! " 

ii i 



130 HENRY IRVING 

Irving realised the justice of his words he was 
always just ; and when we came away the gratuity 
was perhaps a little higher than usual, to compen- 
sate for any injured feelings. 



X 

" The Flying Dutchman " play never, I am sorry 
to say, materialised. The Christian and The Eternal 
City and The Prodigal Son, together with his plays, 
kept Hall Caine busy. As for Irving, his work 
and the two illnesses in 1897 and 1898 allowed no 
opportunity for new work other than that to which 
he was committed. The two men were, however, 
close friends and met on every possible occasion. 
One of the last plays if not the very last that 
Irving went to see was The Prodigal Son at Drury 
Lane. He was very pleased with George Alexander, 
who played the part of Oscar. He said to me, when 
we met after his seeing it : 

" From an actor's point of view he was all- 
important. He kept the play together ! " 

He did not mean that the play was loose-knit or 
disjointed. It was a purely professional criticism, 
from the acting side. It is possible in any play for 
an actor or a group of them to let a play lose 
interest ; others can keep it moving and so sustain 
the interest of the audience. 



LVIII 



IRVING AND DRAMATISTS 

Difficulty of getting plays The sources Actor as col- 
laborator A startled dramatist Plays bought but 
not produced Pinero 



ONLY those who are or have been concerned in 
theatrical management can have the least idea of 
the difficulty of obtaining plays suitable for acting. 
There are plenty of plays to be had. When any 
one goes into management indeed from the time 
the fact of his intention is announced plays begin 
to rain in on him. All those rejected consistently 
throughout a generation are tried afresh on the new 
victim, for the hope of the unacted dramatist never 
dies. There is just a sufficient percentage of ulti- 
mate success in the case of long-neglected plays to 
obviate despair. Every one who writes a play 
sends it on and on to manager after manager. 
When a player makes some abnormal success every 
aspirant to dramatic fame tries his hand at a play 
for him. It is all natural enough. The work is 
congenial, and the rewards when there are re- 
wards are occasionally great. There is, I suppose, 
no form of literary work which seems so easy and 
is so difficult which while seeming to only re- 
quire the common knowledge of life, needs in reality 



132 HENRY IRVING 

great technical knowledge and skill. From the 
experience alone which we had in the Lyceum one 
might well have come to the conclusion that to 
write a play of some kind is an instinct of human 
nature. To Irving were sent plays from every 
phase and condition of life. Not only from writers 
whose work lay in other lines of effort ; historians, 
lyric poets, divines from the curate to the bishop, 
but from professional men, merchants, manufac- 
turers, traders, clerks. He has had them sent by 
domestic servants, and from as far down the social 
scale as a workhouse boy. 

But from all these multitudinous and varied 
sources we had very few plays indeed which 
afforded even a hope or promise. Irving was 
always anxious for good plays, and spared neither 
trouble nor expense to get them. Every play that 
was sent was read and very many commissions were 
given and purchase money or advance fees paid. 
In such cases subjects were often suggested, scenario 
being the basis. In addition to the plays, in which 
he or Ellen Terry took part, which he produced 
during his own management he purchased or paid 
fees or options on twenty-seven plays. Not one of 
these, from one cause or another could he produce. 
One of these made success with another man. 
Some never got beyond the scenario stage. In one 
case, though the whole purchase money was paid 
in advance, the play was never delivered ; it was 
finished and then sold under a different title to 
another manager ! One was prohibited by re- 
quest by the Lord Chamberlain's department. Of 
this play, Robert Emmett, were some interesting 
memories. 



"ROBERT EMMETT' 133 



II 

In Ireland or by Irish people it had often been 
suggested to Irving that he should present Robert 
Emmett in a play. He bore a striking resemblance 
to the Irish patriot a glance at any of the por- 
traits would to any one familiar with Irving' s 
identity be sufficient ; and his story was full of 
tragic romance. From the first Irving was taken 
with the idea and had the character in his mind 
for stage use. In the first year of his management 
he suggested the theme to Frank A. Marshall, the 
dramatist ; who afterwards co-operated with him 
in the editorship of the " Irving " Shakespeare. He 
was delighted with the idea, became full of it, and 
took the work in hand. In the shape of a scenario 
it was so far advanced that at the end of the second 
season Irving was able to announce it as one of 
the forthcoming plays. As we know the extra- 
ordinary success of The Merchant of Venice post- 
poned the work then projected for more than a 
year. Marshall, therefore, took his work in a more 
leisurely fashion, and it was not till the autumn 
of 1 88 1 that the play appeared in something like 
its intended shape. But by that time Romeo and 
Juliet was in hand and a full year elapsed before 
Robert Emmett could be practically considered. But 
when that time came the Irish question was acute. 
Fenianism or certain of its sequela became recru- 
descent. The government of the day considered 
that so marked and romantic a character as Robert 
Emmett, and with such political views portrayed 
so forcibly and so picturesquely as would be the 



134 HENRY IRVING 

case with Irving, might have a dangerous effect 
on a people seething in revolt. Accordingly a 
" request " came through the Lord Chamberlain's 
department that Mr. Irving would not proceed with 
the production which had been announced. Inci- 
dentally I may say that nothing was mentioned 
in the " request " regarding the cost incurred. 
Irving had already paid to Frank Marshall a sum 

of 450. 

In the early stages of the building up of the 
play there was an interesting occurrence which 
illustrates the influence of the actor on the author, 
especially when he is a good stage manager. One 
night Marshall came to supper in the room which 
antedated the Beefsteak Room for that purpose. 
The occasion was to discuss the scenario which had 
by then been enlarged to proportions comprehensive 
of detail not merely the situations but the work- 
ing of them out. Only the three of us were 
present. We were all familiar with the work so far 
as it was done ; for not only used Marshall to 
send Irving a copy of each act and scene of the 
scenario as he did it, but he used very often to run 
in and see me and consult about it. I would then 
tell Irving at a convenient opportunity and when 
next the author came I would go over with him 
Irving's comments and suggestions. This night we 
all felt to be a crucial one. The play had gone on 
well through its earlier parts ; indeed it promised 
to be a very fine play. But at the point it had 
then reached it halted a little. The scene was in 
Dublin during a phase or wave of discontent even 
with the " patriotic " party as accepted in the play. 
Something was necessary to focus in the minds of 



EFFECT OF A BOMB 135 

certain of the characters the fact and cause of 
discontent and to emphasise it in a dramatic way. 
After supper we discussed it for a long time. All 
at once Irving got hold of an idea. I could see 
it in his face ; and he could see that I saw he had 
something. He glanced at me in a way which I 
knew well to be to back him up. He deftly 
changed the conversation and began to speak of 
another matter in which Marshall was interested. 
I knew my cue and joined in, and so we drifted 
away from the play. Presently Irving asked Mar- 
shall to look at a play-bill which he had had framed 
and hung on the wall. It was one in which Mac- 
ready was " starred " along with an elephant called 
" Rajah " this used in later years to hang in 
Irving's dressing-room. Marshall stood up to look 
at it closely. Whilst he was doing so, with his 
back to us, Irving got half-a-dozen wine glasses 
by the stems in his right hand and hurled them at 
the door, making a terrific crash and a litter of 
falling glass. Frank Marshall, a man of the sunniest 
nature, was not built spiritually in a heroic mould. 
He gave a cry and whirled round, his face pale 
as ashes. He sank groaning into a chair speech- 
less. When I had given him a mouthful of brandy 
he gasped out : 

' What was it ? I thought some one had thrown 
a bomb-shell in through the window ! " 

' That was exactly what I wanted you to think ! " 
said Irving quietly. " That is what those in 
Curran's house would have felt when they recog- 
nised that the fury to which they had been listening 
and whose cause they could not understand was 
directed towards them. You are in the rare posi- 



136 HENRY IRVING 

tion now, my dear Marshall, of the dramatist who 
can write of high emotion from experience. The 
audience are bound to recognise the sincerity of 
your work. Just write your scene up to that 
effect. Let the audience feel even an indication of 
the surprise and fear that you have just felt your- 
self, and your play will be a success ! " He said 
this very seriously but with a bland smile and his 
eyes twinkling, for through all the gravity of the 
issue in the shape of a good play he enjoyed the 
humour of the situation. Frank Marshall re- 
covered his nerves and his buoyancy after a while, 
and when we broke up in the early morning he 
took his way home eager to get to work afresh and 
full of ideas. 

As Irving was for the time debarred from playing 
the piece, when completed he let Boucicault have 
it to see what he could do with it. He did not, I 
think, improve it. Boucicault played it himself in 
America, but without much success. 

The following list, not by any means complete, 
will show something of the wide range which Irving 
covered in his search for suitable plays. I give it 
because certain writers, who do not know much of 
the man whom they criticise so flippantly or so 
superciliously, have been in the habit of saying that 
Irving did not encourage British dramatists. To 
those who were on the " inside track " their utter- 
ances often meant that he did not accept, pay for, 
and produce their worthless plays or those of their 
friends, and he did not talk about his business to 
chance comers. Moreover, he held that it was not 
good for any one to produce an inferior play. The 
greatest of all needs of a theatre manager is a 



UNUSED PLAYS 137 

sufficiency of plays, and it is sheer ignorant folly 
for any one to assert that a manager does not 
accept good plays out of some crass obstinacy or 
lack of ability on his own part. 

Author Play 

W. G. Wills .... Rienzi 

. . . . Mephisto 

. . . . King Arthur 

,, . . . . Don Quixote 

Frank Marshall . . . Robert Emmett 

Richard Voss . . . Schuldig 

J. J. C. Clarke . . . George Washington 

... Don Quixote 

Fergus Hume . . . The Vestal 

Penrhyn Stanlaws . . The End of the Hunting 

H. T. Johnson . . . The Jester King 

Egerton Castle and Walter | Sayiolo 

Pollock . . . . ) 

O. Booth and J. Dixon . Jekyll and Hyde (from 

Stevenson) 

J . M. Barrie . . . The Professor's Love Story 

F. C. Burnand . . . The Isle of St. Tropez 

The Count 

H. Guy Carleton . . . The Balance of Comfort 

Ludwig Fulda . . . The Bloody Marriage l 

Walter Pollock . . . Villon 

For obvious reasons I do not give what any of 
these authors received for play or option or advance 
fees ; but the total was over nine thousand pounds. 

Regarding one of the plays, Irving' s exact reason 
for not playing it was that he felt it would not suit 
him or rather that he would not suit it. He liked 
the play extremely, and when after studying the 
scenario very carefully he had to come to the con- 
clusion that it was not in his own special range 

1 This was dramatised for Irving by W. L. Courtney, but the 
opportunity for its production had not come at the time of his 
last illness. 



138 HENRY IRVING 

of work, he obtained permission from the author to 
submit it to two of his friends in turn, John L. 
Toole and John Hare. Both these players were 
delighted with the work, but neither had it in his 
vogue. Finally another actor saw his way to it, 
and made with it both a hit and fortune. 

The play was Barrie's The Professor's Love Story ; 
the actor who played it E. S. Willard. This is a 
good instance of delayed fortune. For my own 
part, knowing the peculiar excellences and strength 
of the three players who refused it, I cannot but 
think that they were all right. The play is an 
excellent one, but wants to be exactly fitted. Irving 
was naturally too strong for it ; Toole was a low 
comedian, and it is not in the vein of Low Comedy ; 
Hare's incisive finesse would have militated against 
that unconsciousness of effect which is the " note " 
of the Professor. 



Ill 

In addition to the above plays on which he ad- 
ventured wholly or in part Irving made efforts 
regarding plays by other authors, amongst whom 
were Mrs. Steel, K. and Hesketh Pritchard, Marion 
Crawford, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Henry Arthur 
Jones, W. L. Courtney, Miss Mary Wilkins, Robert 
Barr. These included the possible dramatisation of 
several novels. 

A. W. Pinero was always regarded by Irving as 
a great intellectual force, and to the last he was in 
hopes that some day he would have the opportunity 
of playing in a piece by him. He often expressed 



IRVING AND PINERO 139 

his wish to Pinero ; and more than once have 
Pinero and I talked and corresponded on the sub- 
ject. Pinero, however, would not think of giving 
Irving a play that would not have suited him. He 
had for Irving a very profound regard and a deep 
personal affection. They were always the best of 
friends and Pinero was loyalty itself. I do not 
think that any man understood Irving's power and 
the excellence of his method better than he did. 
I fear, however, that that very affection and regard 
stood in the way of a play ; Pinero, I think, wanted 
to surpass himself on Irving's behalf. 



LIX 



MUSICIANS 

Boito Paderewski Henschd Richter Liszt Gounod 



MUSICIANS always took a deep interest in Irving's 
work both as actor and manager. They seemed to 
understand in a peculiarly subtle way the signifi- 
cance of everything he did. 



II 
BOITO 

Boito came to the Lyceum on June 13, 1893, 
when we were playing Becket. I talked with him 
in his box and in the little drawing-room of the 
royal box. He afterwards came round on the stage 
to see Irving. He was wonderfully impressed with 
Becket. He said to me that Irving was " the 
greatest artist he had ever seen." Two nights 
later, I5th June, he came to supper in the Beef- 
steak Room. Irving had got some musicians and 
others to meet him. The following were of the 
party : A. C. Mackenzie, Villiers Stanford, Dam- 
rosch, Jules Claretie, Renaud, Brisson, Le Clerc, 
Alfred Gilbert, Toole, Hare, Sir Charles Euan Smith, 



PENALTY OF POPULARITY 141 

Bancroft, Coquelin, Cadet an extraordinary group 
of names in so small a gathering. 



Ill 

PADEREWSKI 

Paderewski was greatly taken with living's play- 
ing and with the man himself. He came to supper 
one night in the Beefsteak Room. Irving met him 
several times and was an immense admirer of his 
work. He offered to write for Irving music for 
some play that he might be doing. I met him a 
good many times privately, and heard him play in 
the house of Mrs. Goetz in Hyde Park Terrace in 
1891, 1892, and 1895. On one of these occasions 
he played Bach's Chromatic Fantasia, an Interlude 
of Mozart, and an Interlude and a waltz by Chopin. 
It was certainly a delightful occasion. 

I remember one very peculiar incident in which 
Paderewski had a part. Whilst we were playing in 
New York, Hall Caine, who had been up in Canada 
trying to arrange the copyright trouble there, came 
to New York also. One Sunday in November 1895 
he and I took a walk in the afternoon. Our destina- 
tion took us down Fifth Avenue, which in those 
days was a great Sunday promenade. Hall Caine 
was soon recognised he is, as some one said, " very 
like his portraits " ; and as he has an enormous 
vogue in America certain of the crowd began to 
follow after him at a little distance. It is of the 
nature of a crowd to increase, if merely because 
it is a crowd ; and in a short time I saw, when 



i 4 2 HENRY IRVING 

by some chance I looked back, a whole streetful of 
people close behind us and the crowd momentarily 
swelling. We increased our pace a little, wishing 
to get away ; but the crowd kept equal pace. Be- 
tween 42nd and 4oth Street we met another crowd 
coming up the Avenue following Paderewski who 
was walking with a friend. We stopped to talk, 
whereupon both crowds pressed in on us it was 
too interesting an opportunity to be missed to see 
two such men, and each so remarkable in appear- 
ance, together. 

It was with some difficulty, and by going into 
a hotel on one side and leaving it by another that 
we managed to escape. 

It is always interesting to the public to see a 
grouping of popular favourites. In the course of 
my own experience I have met with many such 
instances which is natural enough considering that 
I lived for more than twenty-five }^ears amongst 
great artists. One such occasion I remember well : 
a lovely Sunday afternoon in early June 1887 when 
Irving had a coaching party to Oatlands Park 
where we dined with him. The whole road out of 
London was thronged with people, for the chest- 
nuts were out in Bushey Park. On the box of the 
coach sat Irving and Toole and General (then 
Colonel) Cody " Buffalo Bill " who Coriolanus-like 
had that spring struck London " like a planet." 
The grouping took the public taste and we swept 
along always to an accompaniment of admiring 
wonder, sometimes to an accompaniment of cheers. 



"MANFRED" 143 

IV 

GEORG HENSCHEL 

Georg Henschel was from the very first a great 
admirer of Irving away back from 1879, and so he 
used to come to the Lyceum and sometimes stay 
to supper in the Beefsteak Room, or in the room 
we used before it. I shall never forget one night 
when he sang to us. There were a very few others 
present, all friends and all lovers of music. Two 
items linger in my memory unfailingly; one a 
lullaby of Handel and the other the " Elders' 
Song " from Handel's Susannah. I had myself 
first heard him sing at the Handel Festival at the 
Crystal Palace in 1878, when I was much struck 
by his magnificent voice and his power of using it. 
We had all become great friends before he went to 
Boston where I think succeeding Gerische he took 
over the conductorship of the Boston Symphony 
Orchestra. He had wished to study practically 
orchestral music. One forenoon February 28, 1884 
by previous arrangement Irving and I went to 
the Music Hall to hear his orchestra play Schumann's 
Manfred. It was quite a private performance given 
entirely for Irving ; the gentlemen of the orchestra, 
all fine musicians, were delighted to play for him. 
He was entranced with the music and the render- 
ing of it. When we were driving back to the 
Vendome Hotel in Commonwealth Avenue where 
we were both staying he talked all the time about 
the possibilities of producing Byron's play. He 
had had it in his mind for a long time as a work to 
be undertaken ; indeed the rfyttition which we had 



i 4 4 HENRY IRVING 

just heard was the outcome of his having mentioned 
the matter to Henschel on a previous occasion. 
He was nearer to making up his mind to a definite 
production that morning than he had ever been or 
ever was afterwards. 

It was agreed between them that later on, if he 
should undertake to do Julius Cczsar, for which he 
had already arranged the book, Henschel was to 
compose the music for it. 



V 

HANS RICHTER 

Hans Richter was another great admirer of Irving. 
He too is a great master of his own art, and has 
the appreciative insight that only comes with great- 
ness. Richter was not only a musician ; he had 
had so much experience of stage production at 
Bayreuth and elsewhere that if he did not originate 
he at least understood all about it. I remember 
one day, 24th October 1900, after lunch with the 
Miss Gaskells in Manchester, when he talked with 
me about the new effect for The Flying Dutchman 
at the Wagner Festival on the following year. This 
was especially regarding lighting. They had suc- 
ceeded in so arranging lights that the two ships 
were to approach each other one in broad sun- 
light, the other bathed in moonlight. 

With Hans Richter I had once the felicity of 
another such experience in its own way as Irving's 
comprehensive reading of Hamlet ; truly another 
delightful experience of the survey of a great work 



THE COMPOSER'S PURPOSE 145 

at the hands of a master. It was when in the 
house of my friend E. W. Hennell, Hans Richter 
amongst a few friends sat down to the piano and 
gave us a rfcumd of Wagner's Meister singer, singing 
snatches of the songs as he went on, and now and 
again explaining some subtle purpose in the music 
that he played. It was an hour of breathless 
delight which no money could purchase. With my 
wife I attended the Wagner Cycle at Bayreuth that 
summer and heard the opera in all its magnificent 
perfection ; but I never got so clear an insight to 
the great composer's purpose as when Richter 
pictured it for us. 



VI 

THE ABB6 FRANZ LISZT 

On I4th April 1886 Abbe Liszt came to the 
Lyceum to see Faust and to stay to supper in the 
Beefsteak Room. He was then the guest of Mr. 
Littleton, staying at his house at Sydenham. At 
that time musical London made such a rush for 
the old man that it was absolutely necessary to 
guard him when he came to the theatre. All the 
real music lovers of the younger generation wanted 
to see him, for they had not had opportunity before 
and were not likely to have it again. He was then 
seventy-five years of age and had practically given 
up playing inasmuch as he only played to please 
himself or his friends. That night he was accom- 
panied by Mr. and Mrs. Littleton together with the 
sons and daughters-in-law of the latter, and by 

II K 



146 HENRY IRVING 

Stavenhagen his pupil, and Madame Muncacksy. As 
it was necessary to keep away all who might intrude 
upon him enthusiasts, interviewers, cranks, auto- 
graph-fiends, notoriety seekers who would like to be 
seen in his box we arranged a sort of fortress for 
him. Next to the royal box on the grand tier O.P. 
was another box separated only by a partition, part 
of which could be taken down. This box was on 
the outside from the Proscenium. We had the 
door of this box screwed up so that entrance to it 
could only be had through the royal box. Liszt 
sat here with some of the others unassailable, as one 
of the Mr. Littletons kept the key of the other box 
and none could obtain entrance without permission. 

There was an interesting party at supper in the 
Beefsteak Room, amongst them, in addition to the 
party at the play, the following : Ellen Terry, Pro- 
fessor Max-Miiller, Lord and Lady Wharncliffe, Sir 
Alexander and Lady Mackenzie, Sir Alfred Cooper, 
Walter Bach and Miss Bach, Sir Morell Mackenzie, 
Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Littleton, Mr. and Mrs. 
Augustus Littleton, Mr. and Mrs. William Beatty 
Kingston, and the Misses Casella. 

Liszt sat on the right hand of Ellen Terry who 
faced Irving. From where I sat at the end of the 
table I could not but notice the quite extraordinary 
resemblance in the profiles of the two men. After 
supper Irving went round and sat next him and 
the likeness became a theme of comment from all 
present. Irving was then forty-eight years of age ; 
but he looked still a young man, with raven black 
hair and face without a line. His neck was then 
without a line or mark of age. Liszt, on the other 
hand, looked older than his age. His stooping 



THE "MASTER" 147 

shoulders and long white hair made him seem of 
patriarchal age. Nevertheless the likeness of the 
two men was remarkable. 

Stavenhagen played, but as it was thought by 
all that Liszt must be too tired after a long day 
no opening was made for him much as all longed 
to hear him. The party did not break up till four 
o'clock in the morning. The note in my diary 
runs : 

" Liszt fine face leonine several large pimples 
prominent chin of old man long white hair down'on 
shoulders all call him ' Master ' must have had great 
strength in youth. Very sweet and simple in manner. 
H. I. and he very much alike seemed 'old friends as 
they talked animatedly though knowing but a few 
words of each other's language but using much ex- 
pression and gesticulation. It was most interesting." 

The next day Irving and my wife and I, together 
with some others, lunched with the Baroness 
Burdett-Coutts in Stratton Street to meet Liszt. 
After lunch there was a considerable gathering of 
friends asked to meet him. Lady Burdett-Coutts 
very thoughtfully had the pianos removed from the 
drawing-rooms, lest their presence might seem as 
though he were expected to play. After a while 
he noticed the absence and said to his hostess : 

" I see you have no pianos in these rooms ! " She 
answered frankly that she had had them removed 
so that he would not be tempted to play unless he 
wished to do so. 

" But I would like some music ! " he said, and 
then went on : 

" I have no doubt but there is a piano in the 
house, and that it could be brought here easily ! " 



148 HENRY IRVING 

It was not long before the servants brought into 
the great drawing-room a grand piano worthy of 
even his hands. Then Antoinette Sterling sang 
some ballads in her own delightful way with 
the contralto whose tones went straight to one's 
heart. 

" Now I will play ! " said Liszt. And he did ! 

It was magnificent and never to be forgotten. 



VII 
GOUNOD 

Gounod came, as far as I know, but once to the 
Lyceum. That was during the first week of the 
season 6th September 1882 during the continu- 
ance of the run of Romeo and Juliet. He came 
round to Irving's dressing-room at the end of the 
third act and sat all the time of the wait chatting ; 
Gounod was a man who seemed to speak fully- 
formed thoughts. It was not in any way that there 
was about his speech any appearance of formality 
or premeditation. He seemed to speak right out 
of his heart ; but his habit or method was such 
that his words had a power of exact conveyance of 
the thoughts. One might have stenographed every 
sentence he spoke, and when reproduced it would 
require no alteration. Form and structure and 
choice of words were all complete. 

After chatting a while Irving was loth to let 
him go. When the call boy announced the be- 
ginning of Act IV. in which act Irving had no 
part he asked Gounod to stay on with him. So 



NO "GREAT' MAN 149 

also at the beginning of Act V., when he had to go 
on the stage for the Apothecary scene, he asked me 
to stay with Gounod till he came back I had been 
in the dressing-room all the time. Whilst Irving 
was away Gounod and I chatted ; several things 
he said have always remained with me. 

He was saying something about some " great 
man " when he suddenly stopped and, after a slight 
pause, said : 

" But after all there is no really ' great ' man ! 
There are men through whom great things are 
spoken ! " 

I asked him what in his estimation were the 
best words to which he had composed music. He 
answered almost at once, without hesitation : 

' Oh that we two were maying ! ' I can never 
think of those words without emotion ! How can 
one help it ? " He spoke some of the words 
the last verse of the poem from The Saint's 
Tragedy : 

" Oh ! that we two lay sleeping 

In our nest in the churchyard sod, 
With our limbs at rest on the quiet earth's breast, 
And our souls at home with God." 

As he spoke, the emotion seemed to master him 
more and more; at the last line the tears were 
running down his cheeks. He spoke with an extra- 
ordinary concentration and emphasis. It was hard 
to believe that he was not singing, for the effect 
of his speaking the words of Charles Kingsley's 
song was the same. His speech seemed like was 
music. 

Later on I asked him who in his opinion was 
the best composer. " Present company, of course, 



150 HENRY IRVING 

excepted ! " I added, whereat he smiled. After 
a moment's thought he answered : 

" Mendelssohn ! Mendelssohn is the best ! " Then 
after another but shorter pause : " But there is 
only one Mozart ! " 



LX 



LUDWIG BARNAY 

Meeting of Irving and Bar nay " Fluff " A dinner on 

the stage A discussion on subsidy An honour from 

Saxe-Meiningen A Grand-Ducal invasion 



WHEN in 1881 the Meiningen Company came to 
London to play in Drury Lane Theatre at least one 
German player came with them who, though for 
patriotic reasons he played with the Company, had 
not belonged to it. This was Ludwig Barnay. The 
engagement began with Julius Ccesar on 3oth May 
and at once created considerable interest. I was 
present at the first performance, and was much 
struck with the acting of Barnay as Mark Antony. 
By a happy chance I met him very soon after his 
arrival and we became friends. He was then 
able to speak but very little English. Like all 
Magyars, however, he was a good linguist, and 
before a fortnight was over he spoke the language 
so well that only an occasional word or phrase 
spoken to or by him brought out his ignorance. 

At their first meeting Irving and he became 
friends ; they " took " to each other in a really 
remarkable way. Barnay had come to see the play 
then running, Hamlet, and between the acts came 
round to Irving's dressing-room. By this time he 



152 HENRY IRVING 

spoke English quite well ; when he lacked a word 
he unconsciously showed his scholarship by trying 
it in the Greek. Irving after a few minutes forgot 
that he was a foreigner and began to use words 
in the argot of his own calling. For instance, talk- 
ing of the difficulty of getting some actors to 
study their parts properly, he said : 

" The worst of it is they won't take the trouble 
even to learn their words, and when the time comes 
they begin to fluff." To "fluff" means in the 
language of the theatre to be uncertain, inexact, 
imperfect. This was too much for the poor 
foreigner, who up to then had understood every- 
thing perfectly. He raised his hands palm out- 
wards, the wrists first and then the fingers 
straightening as he said in quite a piteous tone : 
"Flof! Fluoof Fluff! Alas! I know him not !" 
Thence on, Irving was very careful not to give 
trade vernacular without explaining it to him. 
Ever after that evening the two men met whenever 
they could; in London whilst Barnay was there, 
or in New York or Berlin when they were there 
together. 



II 

Barnay often came to supper in the Beefsteak 
Room. Edwin Booth, John McCullough and 
Lawrence Barrett, the three leading American 
tragic actors, also became friends of Barnay, and 
there were many gatherings of a delightful kind. 
Chiefest amongst them was a dinner which Irving 
gave to some of the Meiningen Company on the 



SUBSIDY 153 

stage of the Lyceum on Sunday, lytb. July 1881. 
There was a party of thirty, who sat at a great round 
table with yellow flowers. Amongst the gathering 
were Barnay, Cronegk the stage manager of the 
Meiningers, Leopold Teller a fine actor, George 
Augustus Sala, Alma - Tadema, Burdett - Coutts, 
Lawrence Barrett, William Terriss, Toole, F. C. 
Burnand. That the party was at least a pleasant 
one was shown by the hours it kept. We did not 
break up till six o'clock A.M. 



Ill 

Another delightful gathering about that time- 
one which became remarkable in its way was a 
supper given by Toole at the Adelphi Hotel on 
ist July. Amongst the guests were Irving, Barnay, 
McCullough, Lawrence Barrett, Wilson Barrett, 
Leopold Teller. After supper some one I think it 
was Irving said something on the subject of State 
subsidy for theatres. It was an interesting theme 
to such a company, and, as the gathering was by 
its items really international, every one wanted to 
hear what every one else said. So the conversa- 
tional torch went round the table like the sun, or 
the wine. There were all sorts and varieties of 
opinion, for each said what was in his heart. When 
it came to Barnay's turn he electrified us all. He 
did not say much, but it was all to the point and 
spoken in a way which left no doubt as to his own 
sincerity. He finished up : 

" Yes, these are all good to some. The subsidy 
in France ; the system of the Hoff and the Staadt 



154 HENRY IRVING 

Theatres in Germany ; the help and control in 
Austria which brings the chosen actors into the 
State service. But " and here his eyes flashed, 
his nostrils quivered, and his face was lit with 
enthusiasm " Your English freedom is worth them 
all ! " Then, springing to his feet, he raised his 
glass and cried in a voice that rang like a trumpet : 
" Freiheit ! " 



IV 

Before the production of Faust in 1885 Irving 
took a party, including Mr. and Mrs. Comyns Carr 
and Ellen Terry, to Niirnberg and Rothenburg to 
study the ground. On the way home they went 
to Berlin. There Barnay gave two special per- 
formances in his own theatre, the Berliner. The 
bill of the play is in its way historical ; the names 
of the honoured guests were starred. The per- 
formances were of Julius C&sar and The Merchant 
of Venice. 



The Grand Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, to whose 
theatre the Meiningen Company belonged, sent to 
Irving an Order of his own Court at the same time 
that he sent one to Augustus Harris, the manager 
of Drury Lane Theatre, where his Company had 
played. Later on, however, when he had seen 
Irving play and had met him, he said that the 
order sent him was not good enough for so dis- 



EJECTION OF A GRAND DUKE 155 

tinguished a man. He accordingly bestowed on 
him with the consent and co-operation of the 
Grand Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (His Royal High- 
ness the Duke of Edinburgh) the Order of the 
Komthur Cross of the Second Class of the Ducal 
Saxon Ernestine House Order a distinction, I be- 
lieve, of high local order, carrying with it something 
in the shape of knighthood. Irving wore the Collar 
of the Order on the night of 25th May 1897 when 
the Grand Duke of Saxe-Meiningen came to supper 
with him in the Beefsteak Room the only time I 
think when he wore the insignia of this special 
honour. Other guests at that supper were Colonel 
John Hay, the Ambassador of the United States, 
and his daughter Helen, whose volume of poems 
made such a success with the literati. 

Irving's first meeting with the Grand Duke was 
preceded by an odd circumstance. This was on the 
evening of 28th May 1885. 

I was passing across the stage between the acts 
when I saw a stranger a tall, distinguished-looking 
old gentleman. I bowed and told him that no 
one was allowed on the stage without special per- 
mission. He bowed in return, and said : 

" I thought that permission would have been 
accorded to me ! " 

" The rule," said I, " is inviolable. I fear I must 
ask you to come with me to the auditorium. This 
will put us right ; and then I can take any message 
you wish to Mr. Irving." 

" May I tell you who I am ? " he asked. 

"I am sorry," I said, " but I fear I cannot ask 
you till we are outside. You see, I am the person 
responsible for carrying out the rules of the theatre. 



156 HENRY IRVING 

And no matter who it may be I have to do the 
duty which I have undertaken." 

" You are quite right ! . . . I shall come with 
pleasure ! " he said with very grave and sweet 
politeness. When we had passed through the iron 
door which had chanced to be open, and so he 
had found his way in I said as nicely as I could, 
for his fine manner and his diction and his willing- 
ness to obey orders, charmed me : 

" I trust you will pardon me, sir, in case my 
request to leave the stage may have seemed too 
imperative or in any way wanting in courtesy. 
But duty is duty. Now will you kindly give me your 
name and I will go at once and ask Mr. Irving's 
permission to bring you on the stage, and to see 
him if you will ! " 

" I thank you, sir ! " he said; " I am the Grand 
Duke of Saxe-Meiningen. I am very pleased with 
your courtesy and to see that you carry out orders 
so firmly and so urbanely. You are quite right ! 
It is what I like to see. I wish my people would 
always do the same ! " 



LXI 

CONSTANT COQUELIN (AIN6) 

First meeting of Coquelin and Irving Coquelin's com- 
ments Irving' s reply " Cyrano 1 ' 

IRVING and Coquelin first met on the night of 
April 19, 1888. The occasion was a supper given 
for the purpose by M. L. Mayer, the impresario of 
French artists in London, at his house in Berners 
Street. Previous to this there had been a certain 
amount of friction between the two men. Coquelin 
had written an article in Harper's Magazine for 
May 1887 on " Acting and Actors." In his 
article he made certain comments on Irving which 
were using the word in its etymological meaning 
not impertinent, but were most decidedly want- 
ing in delicacy of feeling towards a fellow-artist. 

Irving replied to the article in an " Actor's Note " 
in the Nineteenth Century for June of the same year. 
His article was rather a caustic one, and hi it he 
did not spare the player turned critic of his fellow- 
players. 

To the " not impertinent " comments on his own 
method he merely alluded in a phrase of depreca- 
tion of such comments being made by one player 
on another. But of the theory advanced by 
Coquelin, in which he supported the views of 



158 HENRY IRVING 

Diderot, he offered a direct negative, commenting 
himself freely on such old-fashioned heresies. 

It is but right to mention that when, some two 
years later, Coquelin republished his article, with 
some changes and embellishments, in the Revue 
IllustrJe, December 1889, under the title, " L'Art du 
Come'dien," he left out entirely the part relating 
to Irving. 

When the two men met at Mayer's they at once 
became friends. The very fact of having crossed 
swords brought to each a measure of respect to 
the other. " It is astonishing," says Colonel Damas 
in The Lady of Lyons, " how well I like a man 
when I have fought with him ! " At first the 
conversation was distinctly on the militant side, 
the batteries being masked. The others who were 
present, including Toole, Coquelin fils, and Sir 
Squire (then Mr.) Bancroft, had each a word to 
say at times. Irving, secure in his intellectual posi- 
tion with regard to the theory of acting, was most 
hearty in his manner and used his rapier with 
sweet dexterity. Toole, who had his own grievance : 
that Coquelin, an artist of first-class position, late a 
Societaire of the Comedie Fran9aise should accept 
fee or emolument for private performances, a thing 
not usual to high-grade players of the British stage 
limited himself to asking Coquelin in extremely 
bad French if it was possible that this was true. 
At that time Coquelin did not speak much English, 
though he attained quite a proficiency in it before 
long. 

In a very short time the supper party at Mayer's 
subsided into gentle and complete harmony. The 
actors began to understand each other, and from 



COQUELIN, COMEDIAN 159 

that moment became friends. Coquelin gave imita- 
tions of certain French actors, amongst them 
Fre"de"ric Le Mattre and Mounet-Sully. The per- 
formance was a strange comment on his own theory 
that an actor in portraying a character must in 
the so doing divest himself of his own identity, 
and quite justified Irving's remark in his " note " : 

" Indeed it is strange to find an actor, with an 
individuality so marked as that of Mr. Coquelin, taking 
it for granted that his identity can be entirely lost." 

To us whilst his imitations were remarkably 
clever, there was no possibility of forgetting for 
an instant that the exponent was M. Coquelin. 
Why should we ? If an actor entirely loses his 
own identity the larger measure of his possible 
charm is gone ! 

I had myself first seen Coquelin in 1876 in Les 
Fourchambauts. My knowledge of French in those 
days was of a very inadequate kind as I regret 
to say it still is ; but I remember the extraordinary 
perfection of the double entente. His pronunciation 
of two words nearly alike in sound but quite different 
in idea, was of exquisite delicacy. For instance, he 
spoke the phrase sans doute so as to also mean 
sans dot. Both vowel and consonant sounds were 
in exact midway between the words and defendably 
for either meant both. I should think myself that 
for articulation of his own language Constant 
Coquelin has no peer. 

I find this note in my diary regarding Coquelin 
on that night of Mayer's supper : 

" He is a fine actor ; essentially a Comedian! " 



160 HENRY IRVING 

In the course of years Irving and Coquelin met 
often, and the oftener they met the more their 
friendship ripened. For a good many years Irving 
took quite an affectionate interest in Coquelin and 
his affairs ; and finally, after the latter had made 
his enormous success in Paris with Cyrano de Ber- 
gerac and was anxious to produce it in London, 
Irving made arrangements for playing himself for 
some weeks in the suburbs so that he might give 
up the Lyceum to his friend. 

Cyrano was produced on 4th July 1898 and had 
a triumphant run. 

Irving had purchased the English rights of the 
play, intending to play Cyrano himself. But on 
going carefully into it he came to the conclusion 
that the part was one hardly suitable for him ; he 
sold the rights to Sir Charles Wyndham. It was, 
I think, after their last meeting that Coquelin sent 
Irving his picture in character as Cyrano. 

There were many gatherings in the Beefsteak 
Room at which Coquelin was present. One I re- 
member well as of special interest. Victor Maurel 
was there also and Campbell Clarke (afterwards Sir 
Campbell) the Paris correspondent of the Daily 
Telegraph, F. W. Hawkins, A. P. Burbank, the 
American actor, Major Ricarde-Seaver, and James 
Whitcomb Riley. The latter at Irving's request 
recited a few of his inimitable character sketches. 
Coquelin and the other actors were loud and 
eloquent in his praise. 



LXII 



SARAH BERNHARDT 

Irving sees Sarah Bernhardt First meeting Supper in 
Beefsteak Room Bastien Lepage Tradition Painting 
a serpent Sarah's appreciation of Irving and Ellen Terry 

WHEN Irving and Sarah Bernhardt met there was 
already that pre-disposition towards friendship 
which true artists must feel towards those who 
work greatly in their own craft. When the Comedie 
Fran^aise came to London in 1879 and played at 
the Gaiety Theatre, Irving went to one of the 
matinees and was immensely struck by Sarah 
Bernhardt's genius. He was taken round on the 
stage and introduced to the various members of the 
Company ; but he did not have in that short season 
any opportunities of furthering friendships. That 
was a busy season for every one, both the London 
players and the foreigners. We were playing 
repertoire and changing the bill every few nights ; 
the rehearsals were endless. So too with the 
strangers ; they had a great list of plays to get 
through, and they also were rehearsing all day. 
When they could the various members of the French 
Company came to the Lyceum, where they were 
always made welcome. Indeed, all through his 
management Irving made it an imperative rule 
that his fellow-artists should when possible be made 

II L 



1 62 HENRY IRVING 

welcome at his theatre. Little people as well as 
great people, all were welcome. In those early days 
the same rule of hospitality did not hold with the 
Comedie Francaise ; actors had to go in like any one 
else on a " specie basis." Even Irving who had 
thrown his own theatre open to his French fellow- 
artists had to pay for his own box at the Gaiety. 
When, however, Jules Claretie became Director of 
the Theatre Francais he changed all that, absolutely. 
The next year, 1880, Sarah Bernhardt was playing 
for a short time in London this time her own 
venture again at the Gaiety. Irving took a box 
for her benefit, a matinee on i6th June. Loveday 
and I went with him. The bill was Jean Marie, 
the fourth act of La Rome vaincue, and the fifth act 
of Hernani. Irving was charmed with her playing 
in Jean Marie, which is a one-act piece with the 
same note of sentiment in it as that of the song 
" Auld Robin Gray." He was also struck with her 
extraordinary tragic force in La Rome vaincue. I 
had myself seen that play at the Theatre Frangais 
four years before, gth November 1876. When in 
Paris I had been told that I should not miss seeing 
a play running at the Frangais in which a very 
young woman named Sarah Bernhardt was with 
extraordinary power playing a blind woman of 
eighty. There was such a rush to see the piece 
that it was being played four times a week a rare 
thing at the Frangais in those days. Of course I 
went I remember I had to buy my way into the 
parterre and then step by step down to one of the 
near rows from the individuals who then used to 
make their living by standing in line so as to get 
in early and then selling their places to those 



THE VALUE OF SUBSIDY 163 

farther back. I was greatly struck with her acting 
and also, though in a lesser degree, with that of 
Mounet-Sully, then young on the stage. He was 
crude in his artistic method and somewhat rugged, 
but full of force and power. When I saw Sarah 
Bernhardt play the act of the play in London 
I thought that though she had gained in power 
and finish she had lost something of spontaneity. 
On that occasion the house was a poor one, but 
those who were there were delighted and showed it. 

On Saturday night, 3rd July of that year, 1880, 
Sarah Bernhardt came to supper in the Beefsteak 
Room. The two other guests were both friends of 
hers, Bastien Lepage the painter, and Libotton the 
violoncellist. That was a night of extraordinary 
interest. Irving and Sarah Bernhardt were both 
at their best and spoke quite freely on ah 1 subjects 
concerning their art which came on the tapis. 
Irving was eager to know the opinion of one so 
familiar with the working of the French stage and 
yet so daring and original in her own life and 
artistic method. When they touched on the sub- 
ject of the value of subsidy she grew excited and 
spoke of the value of freedom and independence : 

1 What use," she said, " subsidy when a French 
actress cannot live on the salary, at even the 
Come" die Frangaise ! " 

On the subject of tradition in art her manner 
was more pronounced. She railed against tradition 
on the stage as distinguished from the guiding 
memory and record of great effective work. Her 
face lit up and her eyes blazed ; she smote her 
clenched hand heavily on the table, as, after a 
fierce diatribe against the cramping tendency of 



164 HENRY IRVING 

an artificial method relentlessly enforced, she 
hurled out : 

" A has ! la tradition ! " 

Then the change to her softer moods was re- 
markable. She was a being of incarnate grace, with 
a soft undertone of voice as wooing as the cooing 
of pigeons. As I looked at her this was my first 
opportunity of seeing her close at hand all the 
wondrous charm which Bastien Lepage had em- 
bodied in his picture of her seemed at full tide. 
This picture of Bastien Lepage, that wherein she 
is seated holding a distaff, was exhibited in a 
silver frame at the first exhibition of the Grosvenor 
Gallery and met with universal admiration. With 
the original before one and the memory of her 
wonderful playing ever fresh in one's mind it was 
not possible not to be struck with her serpentine 
grace. I said to Bastien Lepage in such French as 
I could manage : 

" In that great picture you seemed to get the 
true Sarah. You have painted her as a serpent 
with all a serpent's grace ! " He seemed much 
interested and asked me how I made that out. 
Again as well as I could I explained that all the 
lines of the picture were curved there was not a 
single straight line in the drawing or shading. 
He seemed more than pleased and asked me to go 
on. I said that it had seemed to me that he had 
painted all the shadows in a scheme of yellow, 
shading them to represent in a subtle way the 
scales of the serpent skin. 

He suddenly took me by both hands and shook 
them hard I thought for a moment that he was 
going to kiss me. Then he patted me on the 



A PRECIOUS SHIRT-CUFF 165 

shoulder, and suddenly shot out the big wide white 
cuff then in vogue in Parisian dress, and taking a 
pencil from his pocket drew the picture in little, 
showing every line as serpentine, and suggesting 
the shadows with little curved and shaded lines. 
Then he shook hands again. 

I have regretted ever since that I did not ask 
him to cut off that cuff and give it to me ! It was 
an artistic treasure ! 

In some of the discussions on art that evening 
he too got excited. I remember once the violent 
way in which he spoke of his own dominant note : 

" Je suis un re-a-liste ! " As he spoke his voice 
rose and quivered with that "brool" that marks 
strong emotion. The short hair of his bullet head 
actually seemed to bristle like the hair of an excited 
cat. He rose and brought down his raised clenched 
fist on the table with a mighty thump. One could 
realise him at that moment as a possible leader of 
an emeute. One seemed to see him amid a whirl 
of drifting powder smoke waving a red flag over 
the top of a barricade. 

Another thing which Bastien Lepage said that 
night has always remained in my memory. It is 
so comprehensive that its meaning may be widely 
applied : 

" In an original artist the faults are brothers to 
the qualities ! " 

We sat late that night. It was five o'clock when 
we broke up, and the high sun was streaming into 
our eyes as we left the building. Many a night 
after that, Sarah Bernhardt spent pleasant hours 
at the Lyceum pleasant to all concerned. She 
grew to love the acting of Irving and of Ellen Terry, 



1 66 HENRY IRVING 

and whenever she had an opportunity she would 
hurry in by the stage door and take a seat in the 
wings. Several times when she arrived in London 
from Paris she would hurry straight from the 
station to the theatre and see all that was possible 
of the play. It was a delight and a pride to both 
Irving and Miss Terry when she came ; and when- 
ever she could do so she would stop to supper. 
The Beefsteak Room was always ready, and a tele- 
phone message to Gunter's would insure the pro- 
vision of supper. Those nights were delightful. 
Sometimes some of her comrades would come with 
her. Marius, Gamier, Darmont or Damala. The 
last time the latter to whom she was then married 
came he looked like a dead man. I sat next 
him at supper, and the idea that he was dead was 
strong on me. I think he had taken some mighty 
dose of opium, for he moved and spoke like a man 
in a dream. His eyes, staring out of his white 
waxen face, seemed hardly the eyes of the living. 

One night in 1899, whilst she was playing Hamlet 
at the Adelphi, she came to supper when there were 
some characteristic Americans, Mark Twain, Nat 
Goodwin, T. I. Keenan of Pittsburg, then President 
of the American Press Union, Colonel Tom Ochiltree 
who had a peculiar soubriquet, F. P. Dunne, 
I. N. Ford of the New York Tribune. 

She was always charming and fresh and natural. 
Every good and fine instinct of her nature seemed 
to be at the full when she was amongst artistic 
comrades whom she liked and admired. She in- 
spired every one else and seemed to shed a sort of 
intellectual sunshine around her. 



LXIII 



GENEVIEVE WARD 

When and how I first saw her Her romantic marriage 
Plays Zillah at Lyceum " Forget me not" Plays with 
Irving : " Becket " ; " King Arthur" ; " Cymbeline " ; 
" Richard III." Argument on a " reading " Eyes that 
blazed A lesson from Regnier 



ON the evening of Thursday, 2Oth November 1873, 
I strolled into the Theatre Royal, Dublin, to see 
what was on. I had been then for two years a 
dramatic critic, and was fairly well used to the 
routine of things. There was a very poor house 
indeed ; in that huge theatre the few hundreds 
scattered about were like the plums in a foc'sle duff. 
I sat down in my usual seat, which the attendants, 
knowing my choice, always kept for me if possible : 
the end seat 'O.P. or left-hand side looking to- 
wards the stage. The play was Legouve's Adrienne 
Lecouvreur, a somewhat machine-made play of the 
old school. The lady who played Adrienne inter- 
ested me at once ; she was like a triton amongst 
minnows. She was very handsome ; of a rich dark 
beauty, with clear cut classical features, black hair, 
and great eyes that now and again flashed fire. I 
sat in growing admiration of her powers. Though 
there was a trace here and there of something 



1 68 HENRY IRVING 

which I thought amateurish she was so masterful, 
so dominating in other ways that I could not under- 
stand it. At the end of the second act I went into 
the lobby to ask the attendants if they could tell 
me anything about her as the name on the bill was 
entirely new to me. None of them, however, could 
enlighten me on any point except that she had 
appeared on Monday in Lucrezia Borgia ; and the 
business was very bad. 

When the grand scene of the play came that 
between the actress and her rival, the Princess de 
Bouillon the audience was all afire. Their en- 
thusiasm and the sound of it recalled the description 
of Edmund Kean's appearance at Drury Lane. I 
went round on the stage and saw John Harris the 
manager. I asked him who was the woman who 
was playing and where did she come from. 

"She has no right to be playing to an audience 
like that ! " I said pointing at the curtain which lay 
between us and the auditorium. 

" I quite agree with you ! " he answered. " She 
is fine ; isn't she ? I saw her play in Manchester 
and at once offered her the date here which was 
vacant." Just then she came upon the stage and 
he introduced me to her. When the play was over 
I went home and wrote my criticism, which duly 
appeared in the Irish Echo next evening. 

That engagement of nine days was a series of 
debuts. In addition to Adrienne Lecouvreur she ap- 
peared in Medea, Lucrezia Borgia, The Actress of 
Padua, the " sleep-walking " scene of Macbeth, The 
Honeymoon. In one and all she showed great power 
and greater promise. It is a satisfactory memory 
to me to find after her career has been made and 



THE ITALIAN METHOD 169 

her retirement all too soon effected after more 
than thirty years of stage success when I find this 
mem. in my diary of 2Qth November 1873 the 
last night of her engagement 

" (Mem. will be a great actress)." 

During the engagement, Monday, 24th November, 
one night behind the scenes I met a great friend 
of mine, the American Consul, Wilson King of 
Pittsburg, who was paying a visit to the actress, 
whom he had known since childhood, his family 
and hers having all been old friends. He introduced 
me to his countrywoman, not formally this time 
but as a friend. And there and then began a close 
friendship which has never faltered, which has been 
one of the delights of my life and which will I trust 
remain as warm as it is now till the death of either 
of us shall cut it short. 



II 

Genevieve Ward both in the choice of her plays 
and in her manner of playing followed at that time 
the " old " school. I had a good opportunity of 
judging the excellence of her method, for that very 
year 1873, after an absence of fifteen years, Madame 
Ristori had visited Dublin. She was then in her 
very prime ; an actress of amazing power and 
finish. She had played Medea, Mary Stuart , Queen 
Elizabeth and Marie Antoinette. Her method was 
of course the " Italian " of which she was the finest 
living exponent probably the finest that ever had 
been. Her speech was a series of cadences ; the 



i yo HENRY IRVING 

voice rose and fell in waves sometimes ripples 
sometimes billows but always modified with such 
exquisite precision as not to attract special atten- 
tion to the rhythmic quality. Its effect was entirely 
unconscious. Indeed it was a method which in time 
could, and did, become of itself mechanical like 
breathing so that it did not in the least degree 
interfere even with the volcanic expression of passion. 
The study was of youth and at the beginning of 
art ; but when the method was once formed nature 
could express herself in it as unfettered as in any 
other medium. Years afterwards Miss Ward showed 
me one of Ristori's prompt books ; and I could not 
but be struck with the accentuation. Indeed the 
marking above the syllables ran in such unbroken 
line as to look like musical scoring. 

Miss Ward was a friend of the great Italian and 
had learned most of her art from her. She was a 
fine linguist, speaking French, Italian, and Spanish 
as easily as her own tongue. At that time Ristori, 
who was in private life La Comtessa Campramican 
del Grillo, lived in her husband's ancestral home in 
Rome, and Miss Ward often stayed with her. Miss 
Ward in her private life was also a Countess, having 
whilst a very young girl married a Russian, Count 
de Gerbel of Nicolaeiff. The marriage was a 
romance as marked as anything that could appear 
upon the stage. In 1855 at Nice Count de Gerbel 
had met and fallen in love with her and proposed 
marriage. She was willing and they were duly 
married at the Consulate at Nice, the marriage in 
the Russian church was to follow in Paris. But 
the Count was not of chivalrous nature. In time 
his fancy veered round to some other quarter, and 



A STRANGE MARRIAGE 171 

he declared that by a trick of Russian law which 
does not acknowledge the marriage of a Russian 
until the ceremony in the Russian church has been 
performed, the marriage which had taken place was 
not legal. His wife and her father and mother, 
however, were not those to pass such a despicable 
act. With her mother she appealed to the Czar, 
who having heard the story was furiously indignant. 
Being an autocrat, he took his own course. He 
summoned his vassal Count de Gerbel to go to 
Warsaw, where he was to carry out the orders which 
would be declared to him. There in due time he 
appeared. The altar was set for marriage and 
before it stood the injured lady, her father, Colonel 
Ward, and her mother. Her father was armed, for 
the occasion was to them one of grim import. De 
Gerbel yielded to the mandate of his Czar, and the 
marriage with all needful safeguards this time 
was duly effected. Then the injured Countess 
bowed to him and moved away with her own kin. 
At the church door husband and wife parted, never 
to meet again. 



Ill 

In her first youth Miss Ward was a singer and 
had great success in Grand Opera. But overwork 
in Cuba strained her voice. It was thought that 
this might militate against great and final success ; 
so, bowing to the inevitable, she with her usual 
courage forsook the lyric for the dramatic stage. 
It was when she had prepared herself for the latter 



172 HENRY IRVING 

and was ready to make her new venture that I 
first saw her. 



IV 

During the holiday season of 1879, whilst Irving 
was yachting in the Mediterranean, Miss Ward 
rented the Lyceum for a short season commencing 
2nd August. By the contract Irving had agreed 
to find, in addition to the theatre, the heads of 
departments, box-office and the usual working staff 
at an inclusive rent, as he wished to keep all his 
people together. So I had to remain in London to 
look after these matters. Miss Ward asked me to be 
manager for her also ; but I said I could not do 
so as a matter of business as it might be possible 
that her interests and Irving' s might clash ; but 
that I would do all I could. 

She opened in a play called Zillah written by her 
old friend Palgrave Simpson and another. It was 
put in preparation some time before and was care- 
fully rehearsed. My own work kept me so busy 
that I did not have any time to see rehearsals till 
the night before the performance when the dress 
rehearsal was held. That rehearsal was one which 
I shall never forget. It was too late to say any- 
thing there was no time then to make any radical 
change ; and so I held my peace. 

The play was of the oldest-fashioned and worst 
type of " Adelphi " drama ! It was machine-made 
and heartless and tiresome to the last degree, and 
in addition the language was turgid beyond belief. 
It was an absolute failure, and was taken off after a 



A NEW PLAY 173 

few nights. Lucrezia Borgia was put up whilst a 
new play should be got ready. She had not made 
arrangements for a second new play, so we all under- 
took to do what we could to find a suitable play, 
a new one. Miss Ward gave me a great parcel of 
plays sent to her at various times some two feet 
high of them ; with a heavy heart I began to wade 
through them. Some five or six down the line I 
came on one play which at once arrested my 
attention. As I shortly afterwards learned it was 
one which had been hawked about unsuccessfully. 
So soon as I had read it I sent it up to Miss Ward's 
home by a messenger, together with a note to the 
effect that I thought the enclosed, with a little 
alteration in the first act, would make a great success. 
Miss Ward's judgment agreed with my own. She 
knew the author and wrote to him to see her. He 
came to the Lyceum that night. She had asked 
me what price she should pay, say for five years 
with right of renewal. I told her the price then 
usual for plays, so much per act, and we agreed 
that she should offer that price for the term of 
lease, to be duplicated if the option of renewal were 
acted on. The author came in a hurry, passing 
through London. Miss Ward was dressing and 
sent for me and asked me through her door if I 
could open negotiations for her and she would see 
the author when she was dressed. I saw him and 
asked the price he expected. He named that which 
she had decided upon, so I told him that Miss 
Ward would take the play ; she saw him a few 
minutes after and the agreement was verbally made. 
The play was produced on August 21 within a 
fortnight of the time of its discovery. It was an 



i 7 4 HENRY IRVING 

enormous success, and ran the whole time of her 
tenancy indeed a week longer than had been 
decided on as Irving was loth to disturb the 
successful run. 

The play was Forget me not, by Hermann Merivale 
and F. C. Grove. Miss Ward played it continuously 
for ten years and made a fortune with it. 



V 

Miss Genevieve Ward played in four of Irving's 
great productions, of course always as a special 
engagement. The first was Becket, in which she 
" created " the part of Queen Eleanor by old 
custom, to " create " a stage part is to play it first 
in London ; the second was Morgan Le Fay in 
King Arthur; the third the Queen in Cymbeline; 
and the fourth Queen Margaret in Richard III. In 
all these parts she was exceedingly good. 

With regard to the last-named play, there was 
one of the few instances in which Irving was open 
to correction with regard to emphasis of a word. 
In Act IV. scene 3, of his acting version Act IV. 
scene 4, of the original play the last two lines of 
Queen Margaret's speech to Queen Elizabeth before 
her exit : 

" Bettering thy loss makes the bad-causer worse 
Revolving this will teach thee how to curse ! 

When Miss Ward spoke the last line she em- 
phasised the word this " Revolving this will teach 
thee how to curse ! " Irving said the emphasised 



EYES THAT BLAZED 175 

word should be teach " Revolving this will teach 
thee how to curse ! " 

They each stuck to their own opinion ; but at 
the last rehearsal he came to her and said : 

" You are quite right, Miss Ward, your reading 
is correct." I daresay he had not considered the 
reading when arranging the play. As a matter of 
fact in his original arrangement of the play, at his 
first production of it under Mrs. Bateman in 1877, 
Queen Margaret was not in the scene at all. In the 
new version he had restored her to the scene as he 
wished to " fatten " Miss Ward's part and so add 
to the strength of the play. Miss Ward was always 
a particularly strong actress, good at invective, and 
as the play had no part for Ellen Terry he wished 
to give it all the other help he could. 



VI 

Miss Ward has one great stage gift which is not 
given to many : her eyes can blaze. I can only re- 
call two other actresses who had the same quality in 
good degree : Mdlle. Schneider who forty years ago 
played the Grand Duchess of Gerolstein in Offenbach's 
Opera ; and Christine Nilsson. The latter I saw in 
London in 1867, and from where I sat high up in 
the seat just in front of the gallery I could note 
the starry splendour of her blue eyes. Ten years 
later, in Lohengrin at Her Majesty's Opera House, I 
noticed the same this time from the stalls. And 
yet once again when I sat opposite her at supper on 
the night of her retirement, June 20, 1888. The 
supper party was a small one, given by Mr. and Mrs. 



1 76 HENRY IRVING 

Brydges- Willy ams at 19 Upper Brook Street. Irving 
was there and Ellen Terry, Lord Burnham and Miss 
Matilda Levy brother and sister of our hostess, 
Count Miranda to whom Nilsson was afterwards 
married and his daughter, my wife and myself. 

Nilsson came in from her triumph at the Albert 
Hall, blazing with jewels. She wore that night only 
those that had been given to her by Kings and 
Queens and other varieties of monarchs. 




J. L. TOOLE AS CALEB PLUMMER 
From a drawing by Fred Barnard 



LXIV 

JOHN LAWRENCE TOOLE 

Tools and Irving A life-long friendship Their jokes 
A seeming robbery An odd Christmas present Tools 
and a sentry A hornpipe in a landau Moving Canter- 
bury Cathedral Toole and the verger A joke to the 
King Other jokes His grief at Irvings death Our 
last parting 

THE friendship between Henry Irving and John 
Lawrence Toole began in Edinburgh just fifty 
years ago. Toole was the elder and had already 
won for himself the position of a local semi-star. 
The chances of distinction come to the " Low " 
comedian quicker than to the exponent of Tragedy 
or " High " Comedy, and Toole had commenced 
his stage experience at almost as early an age as 
Irving eighteen. On 2Oth June 1894, during a 
Benefit at the Lyceum for the Southwark Eye 
Hospital, at which he did the wonderfully droll 
character sketch, " Trying a Magistrate," he told 
me that forty-five years before, Charles Dickens 
had heard him do the sketch and advised him to 
go on the stage. Wisely he had taken the advice ; 
from the very start he had an exceptionally 
prosperous career. 

He, the kindliest and most genial soul on earth, 
became a fast friend with the proud, shy, ambitious 

II M 



1 78 HENRY IRVING 

young beginner, eight years his junior. From the 
first he seemed to believe in Irving and predicted 
for him a great career. To this end he contributed 
all through his life. When he toured on his own 
account he took Irving with him, giving him a 
star place in his bill, and an opportunity of exhibit- 
ing his own special tragic power in a recital of The 
Dream of Eugene Aram. I give as an illustration 
a bill of such a tour in 1869 which is illustrative 
of the method of the time. 

To the last day of Irving's life the friendship 
of the two men each for the other never flagged 
or faltered. Such a thing as jealousy of the other 
never entered into the heart of either. Toole 
simply venerated his friend and enjoyed his triumph 
more than he did his own. He would not hear 
without protest any one speak of Irving except 
in a becoming way ; and there was nothing which 
Toole possessed which he would not have shared 
with Irving. When one entertained, there was 
always a place for the other ; whoever had the 
good fortune to become a friend of either found 
his friendship doubled at once. The two men 
seemed to supplement each other's natures. Each 
had, in his own way and of its own kind, a great 
sense of humour. Toole' s genial, ebullient, pro- 
nounced ; Irving's saturnine, keen, and suggestive. 
Both had each again in his own way a very 
remarkable seriousness. Those who only saw Toole 
in his inimitable pranks knew little how keenly 
the man felt emotion ; how unwavering he was in 
his sense of duty ; how earnest in his work. With 
Irving the humour was a fixed quantity, which 
all through his life kept its relative proportion to 



THEATRE 



GLOtCEflTER. 



ROYAL, 



r OEOkOE aODBO* 



SPECIAL NOTICE!! 



TOOLE 

lIYIBlffi, 



KETIIKI 11SIT 

FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY I 

Friday, Evening. June 4, I860. 




A Story for the Flredde! 

kul Otnw ->- >M ^^l . . . . Bj J. L. TOOL! 

=.>r^ rrs-^i ^.^_ - jr.-g.-j "- 



Acn I ft a -PARLOUR BEHIHO WCHAU GAMUTS SHOP. 

Act 3. A Garret in Lambeth, London. 
EUGENE ARAHTS DfiDUJC JK.HMT RVltt. 

Burlesque Lertures!! 

IMITATIONS OF POPULAR ACTORS t 




PU to Ollry. 



THEATRE ROM. 



If- t. U TOOL* _.. . 



for TWO NIGHTS only 
Th< Great Comedian 



J. L, TOOLE 



ELLBN TBUBT. 



BOBI&T 1UCAQX 
JACQUES STBOP 

., i* i* 



Id 01 FABLE FBAiSUS 

. J. L 1001L 



. 

. no BIKTHPLACB or PODOKB8 

Tom Virycraaky-Mr. J. L Took 

^^,ThB.ll^~~- Mr Inrtor. - i>~.."- 

- " ' 'i : 

XMi* xlc* 

TOWN HAU- 

HEADINGS and RECITAI^ 



, 1BVIKO 

U,M r ='^AT- J. t. TOOLE 
uzrw. cM-J. L. TOOLE 



- MISS ELLEN TERR7 



FART 

IM THE REAJ>1XO 

^ Romeo and Juliet 

, _ . MR IRVING , 

4ULCT - MISS ELLEN TERM 

ROMEO - - M r J. L TOOLE 

ITCVHt APPEAR IN THE TOWN AOA1* 



PLAY-BILL: TOOLE AND IRVING 
TOUB, 1869 



IRVING' S JOKE ON TOOLE 

Mock play-bill got up by Kit 
direction, 1883 



A CLASSICAL JOKE 179 

his seriousness ; but Toole, being a low-comedian, 
and perhaps because of it, seemed at times vastly 
different in his hours of work and relaxation. For 
it is a strange thing that the conditions of emotion 
are such that what is work in one case is rest in 
another, and vice versa ; the serious man finds 
ease in relaxation, the humorous man seeks in 
quietude his rest from the stress of laughter. In 
their younger days and up to middle life the two 
men had indulged in harmless pranks. They both 
loved a joke and would take any pains to compass 
it. The tricks they played together would fill 
a volume. Of course from their protean powers 
of expressing themselves and in merging their 
identities actors have rare opportunities of con- 
summating jokes. Moreover they are in the habit 
of working together, and two or -three men who 
understand each other's methods can go far to 
sway the unwary how they will. 

One of the practical jokes of Toole and Irving 
is almost classical : One Sunday when they both 
happened to be playing at Liverpool at the same 
time they went to dine at an old inn at Wavertree 
celebrated for the excellence of its hospitality. 
They had a good dinner and a good bottle of port 
and sat late. When most of the guests in the 
hotel had gone to bed and when the time necessary 
for their own departure was drawing nigh, they 
rang and told the waiter to get the bill. When 
he had gone for it they took all the silver off the 
table they had fine old silver in the inn and 
placed it in the garden on which the room opened. 
Then they turned out the gas and got under the 
table. Hearing no answer to his repeated knocking 



i8o HENRY IRVING 

the waiter opened the door. When he saw the lights 
out, the window opened, and the guests gone he 
cried out : 

" Done ! They have bolted with the silver." 
Then he ran down the passage crying out : " Thieves, 
thieves ! " 

The instant he was gone the two men came 
from under the table, closed the door, lit the gas, 
and took in the silver which they replaced on the 
table. Presently a wild rush of persons came 
down the passage and burst into the room ; the 
landlord and his family, servants of the house, 
guests en deshabille most of them carrying pokers 
and other impromptu weapons. They found the 
two gentlemen sitting quietly smoking their cigars. 
As they stood amazed Irving said in his quiet, 
well-bred voice : 

" Do you always come in like this when gentle- 
men are having their dinner here ? " 

Toole would even play pranks on Irving, these 
generally taking the form of some sort of gift. 
For instance, he once sent Irving on his birthday 
what he called in his letter " a miniature which 
he had picked up ! " It came in a furniture van, 
an enormous portrait of Conway the actor, painted 
about a hundred years ago ; it was so large that it 
would not fit in any room of the theatre and had to 
be put in a high passage. Again, when he was in 
Australia he sent to Irving, timed so that it would 
arrive at Christmas, a present of two frozen sheep 
and a live kangaroo. These arrived at Irving' s 
rooms in Graf ton Street. He had them housed at 
the Lyceum for the night, and next day sent the 
sheep to gladden the hearts and anatomies of 



FRIENDSHIP WITH IRVING 181 

the Costermongers' Club at Chicksand Street, Mile 
End, New Town. The kangaroo was sent with a 
donation to the Zoological Society as a contribu- 
tion from " J. L. Toole and Henry Irving." A 
brass plate was fixed over the cage by the Society. 

Toole loved to make beautiful presents to Irving. 
Amongst them was a splendid gilt silver claret 
jug ; several silver cups and bowls ; the trophy 
designed by Flaxman which was presented to 
Macready in 1818 a magnificent piece of jeweller's 
work ; a " grangerised " edition of Forster's Life of 
Charles Dickens unique in its richness of mate- 
rial and its fine workmanship which he had 
bought in Paris for 500. 

When Toole and Irving were separated they 
were in constant communication by letter, telegram 
or cable. No birthday of the other passed without 
a visit if near enough, or a letter or telegram if 
apart, and there was always a basket of flowers 
each to each. For a dozen years before Irving' s 
death Toole had been in bad health, growing worse 
and worse as the years went on. He grew very 
feeble and very, very sad. But without fail Irving 
used to go to see him whenever he had an oppor- 
tunity. At his house in Maida Vale, at Margate, 
or at Brighton, in which latter place he mainly 
lived for years past, Irving would go to him and 
spend all the hours he could command. Even 
though the width of the world separated them, 
the two men seemed to have, day by day, exact 
cognisance of the whereabouts and doings of 
the other, and not a week but the cables were 
flashing between them. 

Poor Toole had one by one lost all his immediate 



1 82 HENRY IRVING 

family son, wife, daughter ; and his tie to life 
was in great part the love to and from his friend. 
He used to think of him unceasingly. Wherever 
he was, Toole 's wire would come unfailingly making 
for good luck and remembrance. He would keep 
the flowers that Irving sent to him till they faded 
and dropped away ; even then the baskets and 
bare stalks were kept in his room. 

No one appreciated more than Toole the finest 
of Irving' s work. For instance, when he saw him 
play King Lear he was touched to his heart's core, 
and his artistic admiration was boundless. I 
supped with him that night after the play, and 
he said to me : 

" King Lear is the finest thing of Irving's life 
or of any one else's ! ' ! 

When Toole was going to Australia there were 
many farewell gatherings to wish him God-speed. 
Some of them were great and elaborate affairs, 
but the last of all was reserved for Irving, when 
Toole, with some old friends, supped in the Beef- 
steak Room. When Irving proposed his old friend's 
health a rare function indeed in that room he 
never spoke more beautifully in his life. His little 
speech was packed with pathos, and so great was 
his own emotion that at moments he was obliged 
to pause to pull himself together. 

Toole and I were very close friends ever since 
I knew him first in the early seventies. I shared 
with him many delightful hours. And when sorrow 
came to him I was able to give him sympathy and 
such comfort as could be from my presence. I 
was with him at the funeral of his son and then of 
his wife. When his daughter died in Edinburgh, 



A HAUGHTY COASTGUARD 183 

where he was then playing, I went up to him and 
stayed with him. We brought her body back to 
London and I went with him to her grave. With 
me he was always affectionate, always sympathetic, 
always merry when there was no cause for gloom, 
always grave and earnest when such were becoming. 
I have been with him on endless occasions when 
his merriment and geniality simply bubbled over. 
Unless some sorrow sat heavily on him he was 
always full of merriment which evidenced itself 
in the quaintest and most unexpected ways. 

One evening, for instance, we were walking to- 
gether along the western end of Pall Mall. When 
we came near Marlborough House, where on either 
side of the gateway stood a guardsman on sentry, 
he winked at me and took from his pocket a letter 
which he had ready for post. Then when we 
came up close to the nearest soldier he moved 
cautiously in a semi-blind manner and peering out 
tried to put the letter in the breast of the scarlet 
tunic as though mistaking the soldier for a postal 
pillar box. The soldier remained upright and 
stolid, and did not move a muscle. Toole was 
equally surprised and pleased when from the 
guardsman's moveless lips came the words : 

u It's all right, Mr. Toole ! I hope you're well, 
sir ? " 

Another time I was staying with him at the 
Granville at Ramsgate, and on the Sunday after- 
noon we drove out to Kingsgate. Lionel Brough 
was another of the party. As we passed a coast- 
guard station we stopped opposite a very hand- 
some, spruce, dandified coastguard. The two men 
greeted him, but his manner was somewhat haughty. 



184 HENRY IRVING 

Whereupon the two actors without leaving their 
seats proceeded to dance a hornpipe. That is 
they seemed, from the waist up, to be dancing 
that lively measure. Their arms and hands took 
motion as though in a real dance and their bodies 
swayed with appropriate movement. The little 
holiday crowd looked on delighted, and even the 
haughty sailor found it too much. He unbent and, 
smiling, danced also in very graceful fashion. 

Again at another time we found ourselves in 
Canterbury, where Toole amused himself for a 
whole afternoon by spreading a report that the 
Government were going to move the Cathedral 
from Canterbury to Margate, giving as a reason 
that the latter place was so much larger. Strange 
to say that there were some who believed it. Toole 
worked systematically. He went into barbers' 
shops three of them in turn, and in each got 
shaved. As I wore a beard I had to be content 
with having my hair cut ; it came out pretty short 
in the end. As he underwent the shaving operation 
he brought conversation round to the subject of 
the moving of the Cathedral. Then we went into 
shops without end where he bought all sorts of 
things collars, braces, socks, caps, fruits and spice 
for making puddings, children's toys, arrowroot, 
ginger wine, little shawls, sewing cotton, emery 
paper, hair oil, goloshes, corn plasters there was 
no end to the variety of his purchases, each of 
which was an opening for some fresh variant of 
the coming change. 

At one other visit to Canterbury we came across 
in the ancient Cathedral an insolent verger. Toole, 
who was, for all his fun, a man of reverent nature, 



REPROVING INSOLENCE 185 

was as usual with him grave and composed in the 
church. The verger, taking him for some stranger 
of the bourgeois class, thought him a fit subject 
to impress. When Toole spoke of the new Dean 
who had been lately appointed the man said in a 
flippant way : 

" We don't care much for him. We don't think 
we'll keep him ! " This was enough for Toole. 
He looked over at me in a way I understood and 
forthwith began to ask questions : 

" Did you, may I ask, sir, preach this morning ? " 

" No. Not this morning. I don't preach this 
week." We knew then that that verger was to 
be " had on toast." Toole went on : 

" Do you preach on next Sunday, sir ? I should 
like to hear you." 

" Well, no ! I don't think I'll preach on Sunday." 

" Will you preach the Sunday after ? " 

" Perhaps." 

" May I ask, sir, are you the Dean yourself ? " 

" No. I am not the Dean ! " His manner 
implied that he was something more. 

" Are you the Sub-Dean ? " 

" Not the Sub-Dean." His answers were getting 
short. 

" Are you what they call a Canon ? " 

" No, I should not exactly call myself a Canon." 

" Are you a minor Canon ? " 

"No!" 

" Are you a precentor ? " 

" Not exactly that." 

" Are you in the choir ? " 

" No." 

" May I ask you what you are then, sir ? " this 



1 86 HENRY IRVING 

was said with great deference. The man, cornered 
at last, thought it best to speak the truth, so he 
answered : 

" I am what they call a ' verger ! ' 

" Quite so ! " said Toole gravely ; " I thought you 
were only a servant by the insolent way you spoke 
of your superiors ! " 

The remainder of that personal conduction was 
made in silence. 

On one occasion when Toole was taking the 
waters at Homburg, King Edward VII., then Prince 
of Wales, was there. He had a breakfast party to 
which he had asked Toole and also Sir George 
Lewis and Sir Squire Bancroft. In the course of 
conversation his Royal Highness asked Bancroft 
where he was going after Homburg. The answer 
was that he was going to Maloya in Switzerland. 
Then turning to Toole he asked him : 

" Are you going to Maloya also, Mr. Toole ? " 
In reply Toole said, as he bowed and pointed to the 
great solicitor : 

" No, sir, Ma-loya (my lawyer) is here ! " 

I remember one Derby day, 1893, when we 
were both in the party to which Mr. Knox Darcy 
extended the hospitality of his own stand next to 
that of the Jockey Club a hospitality which I 
may say was boundless and complete. When I 
arrived the racing was just beginning, and the course 
was crowded by the moving mass seeking outlets 
before the cordon of police with their rope. As 
I got close to the stand I heard a voice that I knew 
coming from the wicket-gate, which was surrounded 
with a seething mass of humanity of all kinds 
pushing and struggling to get close. 



HIS LOVE FOR CHILDREN 187 

" Walk this way, ladies and gentlemen ! Walk 
this way ! get tickets here. Only one shilling, 
including lunch. Walk this way ! " 

A somewhat similar joke on his part was on board 
a steamer on Lake Lucerne, when he was there 
with Irving. He went quietly to one end of the 
steamer and cried out in a loud voice : " Cook's 
tourists, this way. Sandwich and glass of sherry 
provided free ! " Then, slipping over to the other 
end of the boat as the crowd began to rush for 
the free lunch, he again made proclamation : " Gaze's 
party, this way. Brandy and soda, hard-boiled 
eggs, and butterscotch provided free ! " Again he 
disappeared before the crowd could assemble. 

A favourite joke of his when playing Paul Pry 
was to find out what friends of his were in the 
house and then to have their names put upon the 
blackboard at the inn with scores against them of 
gigantic amount. This was a never-stale source of 
surprise and delight to the children of his friends. 
He loved all children, and next to his own, the 
children of his friends. For each of such there 
was always a box of chocolates. He kept a supply 
in his dressing-room, and I never knew the child 
of a friend to go away empty-handed. With such 
a love in his heart was it strange that in his own 
bad time, when his sadness was just beginning to 
take hold on his very heart's core, he loved to 
think much of those old friends who had loved 
his own children who had gone ? 

Somehow his mirth never lessened his pathos. 
His acting his whole life has been a sort of 
proof that the two can co-exist. His Caleb Plummer 
was never a whit less moving because his audience 



1 88 HENRY IRVING 

laughed through their tears. It may be his art 
became typified in his life. 

When Irving died I telegraphed the same night 
to Frank Arlton, Toole's nephew, who during all 
his long illness had given him the most tender 
care. I feared that if I did not send such warning 
some well-intentioned blunderer might give him a 
terrible shock. Arlton acted most prudently, and 
broke the sad news himself at a favourable oppor- 
tunity the next day. When poor Toole heard it 
his remark was one of infinite pathos : 

" Then let me die too ! " 

Such a wish is in itself an epitaph of lasting honour. 

Toole's belief and sympathy and help was of 
infinite service to the friend whom he loved. It 
was comfort and confidence and assistance all in 
one. And it is hardly too much to say that Irving 
could never have done what he did, and in the 
way he did it, without the countenance and help 
of his old friend. Irving always, ever since I knew 
him, liked to associate Toole with himself in every- 
thing, and to me who know all that was between 
them it is but just as well as the carrying out of 
my dear friend's wishes that in this book their 
names shall be associated as closely as I can achieve 
by the Dedication. Shortly before his last illness 
I went down to Brighton to see him and to ask for- 
mally his permission to this end. He seemed greatly 
moved by it. Later on I sent the proof of the 
page containing it, asking Arlton to show it to him 
if he thought it advisable. Toole had then partially 
recovered from the attack and occasionally saw 
friends and was interested in what went on. 
Arlton' s letter to me described the effect : 



A TOUCHING FAREWELL 189 

" I gave him your message last night, and I fear I 
did unwisely, as nurse says he has been talking all 
night about Sir Henry and books." 

That visit to Brighton was the last time I saw 
Toole. He was then very low in health and spirits. 
He could hardly move or see ; his voice was very 
feeble and one had to speak close and clearly that 
he might hear well. But his intellect was as clear 
as ever, and he spoke of many old friends. I 
spent the day with him; after lunch I walked by 
his bath chair to the end of the Madeira Walk. 
There we stayed a while, and when my time for 
leaving came, I told him but not before. In his 
late years Toole could not bear the idea of any 
one whom he loved leaving him, even for a time. 
We used therefore to say no word of parting till 
the moment came. When he held out his poor, 
thin, trembling hand to me he said with an infinite 
pathos whose memory moves me still : 

" Bram, we have often parted but this time is 
the last. I shall never see you again ! Won't you 
let me kiss you, dear ! " 

Toole died on the night of 3oth July of this 
year and was buried in his family tomb in Kensal 
Green. Around his grave was a great crowd of 
loving and sorrowing friends. 



LXV 



ELLEN TERRY 

First meet her Irving's early playing with her His 
criticism How she knighted an Attorney-General A 
generous player Real flowers Her art Discussion on 
a " S a 8 " The New School Last performance with 
Irving The cause of separation Their comradeship 
A pet name 



THE first time I saw Ellen Terry was on the fore- 
noon of Monday, December 23, 1878. The place was 
the passage-way which led from the stage of the 
Lyceum to the office, a somewhat dark passage 
under the staircase leading to the two " star " 
dressing-rooms up the stage on the O.P. side. But 
not even the darkness of that December day could 
shut out the radiant beauty of the woman to whom 
Irving, who was walking with her, introduced me. 
Her face was full of colour and animation, either 
of which would have made her beautiful. In addi- 
tion was the fine form, the easy rhythmic swing, 
the large, graceful, goddess-like way in which she 
moved. I knew of her of course all the world did 
then though not so well as afterwards ; and she 
knew of me already, so that we met as friends. I 
had for some years known Charles Wardell, the 
actor playing under the name of Charles Kelly, to 




fts 



CRITICISM OF HER EARLY EFFORTS 191 

whom she had not long before been married. Kelly 
had in his professional visits to Dublin been several 
times in my lodgings, and as I had reason to believe 
that he had a high opinion of me I felt from Ellen 
Terry's gracious and warm manner of recognition 
that she accepted me as a friend. That belief has 
been fully justified by a close friendship, unshaken 
to the extent of a hair's-breadth through all the 
work and worry the triumphs and gloom the sun- 
shine and showers storm and trial and stress of 
twenty-seven years of the comradeship of work 
together. 

Irving had engaged her entirely on the strength 
of the reputation which she had already made in 
Olivia and the other plays which had gone before 
it. He had not seen her play since the days of the 
Queen's Theatre, Long Acre, 1867-8, when they had 
played together in The Taming of the Shrew, she 
being the Katherine to his Petruchio. He had not 
thought very much of her playing in those days. 
Long after she had made many great successes at 
the Lyceum, in speaking of the early days he said 
to me : 

" She was always bright and lively, and full of 
fun. She had a distinct charm ; but as an artist 
was rather on the hoydenish side ! " 

From the moment, however, that she began to 
rehearse at the Lyceum his admiration for her be- 
came unbounded. Many and many a time have I 
heard him descant on her power. It was a favourite 
theme of his. He said that her pathos was " nature 
helped by genius," and that she had a " gift of 
pathos." He knew well the value of her playing 
both to himself and the public, and for the early 



192 HENRY IRVING 

years of his management plays were put on in which 
she would have suitable parts. lolanthe was put on 
for her, likewise The Cup, The Belle's Stratagem, 
Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado about Nothing, Twelfth 
Night and Olivia. Synorix was not a part for the 
sake of which Irving would have produced The 
Cup ; neither Romeo nor Benedick is a part such as 
he would have chosen for himself. Neither Malvolio 
nor Dr. Primrose was seemingly a great role for a 
man who had been accustomed for years to " carry 
the play on his back." 



II 

I think that Ellen Terry fascinated every one 
who ever met her men, women and children, it 
was all the same. I have heard the evidences of 
this fascination in many ways from all sorts of 
persons in all sorts of places. One of them in 
especial lingers in my mind : perhaps this is be- 
cause I belong to a nationality to whose children 
r< blarney " is supposed to be a heritage. 

On the afternoon of Sunday, November 25, 1883, 
we had travelled from New York to Philadelphia, 
paying our first visit to the Quaker city. Irving 
and I were staying at the Belle Vue Hotel ; there, 
too, Ellen Terry took up her quarters. I dined 
with Irving, and we were smoking after dinner when 
a card and a message came up. The card was that 
of the Hon. Benjamin H. Brewster, then Attorney- 
General of the United States. The message was to 
the effect that he had broken his journey for a few 
hours on his way to Washington for the purpose 



KNIGHTING AN ATTORNEY-GENERAL 193 

of meeting Mr. Irving, and begging that he would 
waive ceremony and see him. Of course, Irving 
was very pleased, and the Attorney-General came 
up. He was a clever-looking, powerfully-built man, 
but his face was badly scarred. In his boyhood 
he had, I believe, fallen into the fire. Until one 
knew him and came under the magic of his voice, 
and tongue, his appearance was apt to concern one 
over-much. He was quaint in his dress, wearing 
frills on shirt-front and cuffs. He was of an Irish 
family which had sent very prominent men to the 
Bar ; a namesake of his was a leading counsel in 
my own youth. Irving and I were delighted with 
him. After an hour or so he asked if it were 
possible that he might see Miss Terry. Irving 
thought she would be very pleased. In compliance 
with the Attorney-General's request she came down 
to Irving' s room and was most sweet and gracious 
to the stranger. After a while she went away ; he 
prepared to go also, for his train was nearly due. 
When Ellen Terry had left the room he turned to us 
and said, with all that conviction of truth which 
makes " blarney " so effective : 

" What a creature ! what a Queen ! She smote 
me with the sword of her beauty, and I arose her 
Knight ! " 

III 

Ellen Terry had no sooner come into the Lyceum 
than all in the place were her devoted servants. 
Irving was only too glad to let her genius and her 
art have full swing ; and it was a pleasure to all 
to carry out her wishes. As a member of a com- 

II N 



194 HENRY IRVING 

pany she was always simply ideal. She encouraged 
the young, helped every one, and was not only a 
" fair " but a " generous " actor. These terms 
imply much on the stage, where it is possible, with- 
out breaking any rule, to gain all the advantage 
to the detriment of other players. To Ellen Terry 
such a thing was impossible ; she not only gave 
to every one acting with her all the opportunities 
that their parts afforded, but made opportunities 
for them. For instance, it is always an advantage 
for an actor to stand in or near the centre of the 
stage and well down to the footlights. In old days 
such a place was the right of the most important 
actor ; a right which was always claimed. But Ellen 
Terry would when occasion served stand up stage 
or down as might be suitable to the person speaking. 
And when her own words had been spoken she 
would devote her whole powers to helping the work 
of her comrades on the stage. These seemingly 
little things count for much in the summing up 
of years, and it is no wonder that Ellen Terry as 
an artist is, and has always been, loved. From 
the first, to her as an artist has always been given 
the supreme respect which she had justly won. No 
one ever cavilled, no one ever challenged, no one 
ever found fault. All sought her companionship, 
her advice, her assistance. She moved through 
the world of the theatre like embodied sunshine. 
Her personal triumphs were a source of joy to all ; 
of envy to none. 

She seems to have the happy faculty of spinning 
gaiety out of the very air, and adds always to the 
sum of human happiness. 



REAL FLOWERS 195 

i 

IV 

Her performance of Ophelia alone would have 
insured her a record for greatness ; Irving never 
ceased expatiating on it. I well remember one 
night in 1879 it was a ^ ter t* 16 third performance 
of Hamlet when he took supper with my wife and 
me. He talked all the time of Ellen Terry's 
wonderful performance. One thing which he said 
fixed itself in my mind : 

" How Shakespeare must have dreamed when he 
was able to write a part like Ophelia, knowing that 
it would have to be played by a boy ! Conceive 
his delight and gratitude if he could but have seen 
Ellen Terry in it ! " 

Indeed it was a delight to any one even to see 
her. No one who had seen it can forget the picture 
that she made in the Fourth Act when she came 
in holding a great bunch an armful of flowers ; 
lilies and other gracious flowers and all those that 
are given in the text. For my own part, every 
Ophelia whom I have seen since then has suffered 
by the comparison. 

Ellen Terry loves flowers, and in her playing likes 
to have them on the stage with her when suitable. 
Irving was always most particular with regard to 
her having exactly what she wanted. The Pro- 
perty Master had strict orders to have the necessary 
flowers, no matter what the cost. Other players 
could, and had to, put up with clever imitations ; 
but Ellen Terry always had real flowers. I have 
known when the rule was carried through under 
extreme difficulties. This was during the week 
after the blizzard at New York in March 1888 



196 HENRY IRVING 

when such luxuries were at famine price. She had 
as Margaret her bunch of roses every night. I 
bought them one day myself for the purpose when 
the blooms were five dollars each. 



Ellen Terry's art is wonderfully true. She has 
not only the instinct of truth but the ability to 
reproduce it in the different perspective of the 
stage. There must always be some grand artistic 
qualities, quite apart from personal charm, to 
render any actress worthy of universal recognition. 
To those who have seen Ellen Terry no explanation 
is needed. She is artist to her finger tips. The 
rules which Taine applies to Art in general, and 
to plastic art in particular, apply in especial degree 
to an artist of the Stage. That which he calls 
" selective " power, a natural force, is ever a ruling 
factor in the creation of character. 

The finer and more evanescent evidences of in- 
dividuality must to a large extent be momentary. 
No true artist ever plays the same part alike 
on different repetitions. The occasion ; the varia- 
tion of temperament, even of temperature ; the 
emotional characteristic of the audience ; the 
quickening or dulling of the ruling sentiment of 
the day or hour each and all of these insensibly, 
if not consciously, can regulate the pressure in the 
temperamental barometer. When to the gift of 
logical power of understanding causes and effects 
there is added that of instinctively thinking and 
doing the right thing, then the great artist is re- 



HER INTUITION 197 

vealed. It is, perhaps, this instinctive power which 
is the basis of creative art ; the power of the poet 
as distinguished from that of the workman. Then 
comes a nicely balanced judgment of the selective 
faculty. There are always many ways of doing the 
same thing. One, of course, must be best ; though 
others may come very close to it in merit. 

Ellen Terry has the faculty of reaching the best. 
When one sees any other actress essay a part in 
which she has won applause, the actuality seems 
but dull beside the memory. As the object of 
stage work is " seeming " not " being," the effort 
to appear real transcends reality with the art of 
stage perspective added. 



VI 

When Ellen Terry has taken hold of a character 
it becomes, whilst her thoughts are on it, a part 
of her own nature. In fact, her own nature 

" is subdued 
To what it works in, like the dyer's hand. 

Her intuition, which in a woman is quicker than a 
man's reason, not only avoids error from the very 
inception of her work, but brings her unerringly by 
the quickest road to the best end. In the studying 
.of her own parts and the arranging of her own 
/"business of them she had always had a free hand 
with Irving. At the Lyceum she was consulted 
about everything ; and the dispositions of other per- 
sons and things were made to fit into her arrange- 
ments. I can only recall one instance when her 



198 HENRY IRVING 

wishes were not exactly carried out. This was at 
the end of the church scene of Much Ado about 
Nothing which in the Lyceum version finished 
the Fourth Act the scene of the Prison which in 
Shakespeare ends the act having been transferred 
to the beginning of the last act. Here Beatrice 
has pledged Benedick to kill Claudio. Her newly 
accepted lover finishes the scene : " Go, comfort 
your cousin ; I must say, she is dead ; and so, 
farewell." Irving thought that the last words 
should be a little more operative with regard to 
the coming portion of the play ; and so insisted 
in putting in the " gag " which was often in use : 

Beatrice. " Benedick, kill Claudio ! " 
Benedick. " As sure as I'm alive I will ! " 

Against this Ellen Terry protested, almost to 
tears. She thought that every word of Shakespeare 
was sacred ; to add to them was wrong. Still 
Irving was obdurate ; and she finally yielded to 
his wishes. 

To my own mind Irving was right. He too 
held every word of Shakespeare in reverence ; but 
modern conditions, which require the shortening of 
plays, necessitate now and again the concentra- 
tion of ideas the emphasis of purposes. The words 
of the " tag " which he and Ellen Terry spoke, and 
the extraordinary forceful way they spoke them, 
heightened the effect. By carrying on the idea of 
the audience to an immediate and definite purpose 
they increased the " tug " of the play. 

It may be interesting to note that this introduc- 
tion was not, so far as I remember, commented on 
by any of the critics. It was not printed in the 



THE TRUE SOURCE OF ART 199 

acting version, but the words were spoken and 
there was no possibility of their not being heard 
on every performance of our run of two hundred 
nights. Where there are so many Shakespeareans 
looking keenly for errors of text, it was odd such 
an addition should have passed without comment ! 



VII 

The sincerity of Ellen Terry's nature finds ex- 
pression in her art. In all my long experience of 
her I never knew her to strike a wrong note. 
Doubtless she has her faults. She is a woman ; 
and perfection must not be expected even in the 
finishing work of Creation : 

" Auld Nature swears the lovely dears 
Her noblest work she classes, O ; 
Her 'prentice han' she tried on man, 
And then she made the lasses, O ! 

But whatever faults she may have are altogether 
those of the individual human being, not of the 
artist. As the latter she had achieved perfection 
even when I first saw her in 1878. 

The mind which balances truly each item, each 
evidence of character submitted to it by nature, 
experience or the dramatist, is the true source of 
art. Without it perfection must be a hazard ; 
when there are many roads to choose from, the 
traveller may chance to blunder into the right one, 
but the doing so is the work of luck not art. But 
when day after day, week after week, year after 
year one always takes the right road, chance or 



200 HENRY IRVING 

fortune cannot be regarded as the dominating cause. 
The sincerity of art has many means of expression ; 
but even of these some are more subtle than others. 
Such exposition demands mind and the exercise of 
mind ; we may, I think, take it that intention re- 
quires intellectual effort both for its conception and 
execution the wish and the attempt to turn desire 
into force. The carrying out of intention requires 
fresh mental effort. And such must be primarily 
based on a knowledge of the powers and facts at 
command. Thus it is that the actor must under- 
stand himself ; the task is even more difficult when 
the actor is a woman whose nature, therefore, in its 
manifestations is continually changing. But this 
very changeableness has in it the elements of force 
and charm. Out of the kaleidoscope come glimpses 
of new things which have only to be recorded and 
remembered in order to become knowledge. In the 
variety of emotions is a pauseless attractiveness which 
does not admit of weariness. Nature was good to 
Ellen Terry in the equipment for her work. Her 
personality enriched by the gifts showered upon her 
is a very treasure-house of art. No other woman 
of her time has shown such abounding and abiding 
charm ; such matchless mirthfulness ; pathos so 
deep. 

VIII 

As to the stage characters which she has made 
her own it would be impossible to say enough. Any 
one of them is worthy of an exhaustive study. In 
the early days of her acting, which began when her 
years were but few, stage art was in a poor way. 



CONTRIBUTION TO ART PROGRESS 201 

The old style of acting, eminently suitable to the 
age in which it had been evolved, was still in vogue, 
though the conditions of the great world without 
were changing. " The Drama's laws the Drama's 
patrons give " is a truth told with poetic compre- 
hensiveness ; what the public wants the actors 
must in reason supply. But the age when railways 
were still new, when telegraphs were hoped for ; 
when such knowledge as that of the influence of 
worms on the outer layer of the structure of the 
world was being investigated, and when the exist- 
ence of bacteria was becoming a conclusion rather 
than a guess, did not mean to be satisfied with 
an old-world, unnatural expression of human feel- 
ing seemingly based on a belief that passions 
were single and crude and that they swept 
aside the manifold complications of life. Ellen 
Terry belongs to the age of investigation. She is 
of those who brought in the new school of natural 
acting. It is true that she had learned and bene- 
fited by the teaching and experience of the old 
school. The lessons which Mrs. Charles Kean had 
so patiently taught her gave her boldness and 
breadth, and made for the realisation of poetic at- 
mosphere and that perspective of the stage which 
is so much stronger than that of real life. But the 
work which she did in the new school came from 
herself. Here it was that her manifold gifts and 
charms found means of expression of working out 
her purpose in relation to the characters which she 
undertook. If I had myself to put into a phrase 
the contribution to art-progress which Ellen Terry's 
work has been, I should say that it was the recog- 
nition of freedom of effort. She enlarged the bounds 



202 HENRY IRVING 

of art from those of convention to those of nature ; 
and in doing so gave fuller scope to natural power. 
Since she set the way many another actress has 
arrived at the full success possible to the range of 
her gifts who otherwise would have been early 
strangled in the meshes of convention. The general 
effect of this has been to raise the art as well as 
widening it. The natural style does not allow of 
falsity or grossness ; in the light which is common 
to all who understand, either by instinct or educa- 
tion, these stand out as faults or excrescences. In 
this " natural " method also individual force counts 
for its worth and the characteristic notes of sex 
are marked. For instance, I have heard for un- 
fortunately I never saw the piece that when long 
ago she played The Wandering Heir her charm of 
sex was paramount ; she played a girl masquerading 
as a boy so delightfully because she was so complete 
a woman. In her, womanhood is paramount. She 
has to the full in her nature whatever quality it 
is that corresponds to what we call " virility " in 
a man. 

Her influence on her art has been so marked that 
one can see in the younger generation of women 
players how in their efforts to understand her 
methods they have unconsciously held her identity 
as their objective. In a number of them this ap- 
pears as a sort of mild imitation. It was the same 
thing with the school of Irving. Trying to follow 
in his footsteps they have achieved something of 
his identity ; generally those little personal traits 
or habits catching to the eye, which some call faults, 
others idiosyncrasies. 

The advantages which both Irving and Ellen 



LAST PERFORMANCE WITH IRVING 203 

Terry gave to dramatic art will be even more marked 
in the future than it is at the present ; though the 
credit to them of its doing will be less conspicuous 
than it is now. Already the thoughtful work has 
been done ; the principles have been tested and 
accepted, and the teaching has reached its synthetic 
stage. 



IX 

Naturally the years that went to the doing of 
this fine art work threw the two players together 
in a remarkable way, and made for an artistic 
comradeship which, so far as I know, has had no 
equal in their own branch of art. It began with 
Irving' s management at the end of 1878 and lasted 
as a working reality for twenty-four years. At the 
Prince's Theatre, Bristol, on the last night of the 
Provincial Tour of 1902, December 13, she played 
for the last time under his management. Some 
months later, July 14, 1903, they played again in the 
same piece The Merchant of Venice at Drury Lane 
for the benefit of the Actors' Association. This 
occasion has become a memorable one ; it was the 
last time when they played together. 

Their cause of separation was in no wise any 
form of disagreement. It was simply effluxion of 
time. To the last hour of Irving' s life the brotherly 
affection between them remained undimmed. Natu- 
rally when these two great players who had worked 
together in the public eye for nearly a quarter of 
a century separated Curiosity began to search for 
causes, and her handmaid Gossip proclaimed what 



204 HENRY IRVING 

she alleged to be them. Let me tell the simple 
truth and so set the matter right : 

In the course of their long artistic co-operation 
Irving had produced twenty-seven plays in which 
they had acted together. In nineteen of these 
Ellen Terry had played young parts, which naturally 
in the course of so many years became unsuitable. 
Indeed the first person to find fault with them was 
Ellen Terry herself who, with her keen uncompro- 
mising critical faculty always awake to the purposes 
of her work, realised the wisdom of abandonment 
long before the public had ever such a thought. 
There remained, therefore, for their mutual use but 
eight plays of the repertoire the finished work of 
so many years. Of these, two : Macbeth and Henry 
VIII., had been destroyed by fire, and the ex- 
pense of reproducing them adequately for only 
occasional presentation was prohibitive. Two 
others : Coriolanus and Peter the Great, were not 
popular. Robespierre had had its day, a long run 
to the full extent of its excellence. There re- 
mained, therefore, but three : Charles /., The Mer- 
chant of Venice and Madame sans Gene. The last 
of these had not proved a very great success in 
England ; in America it had been done to death. 
For Charles /., by its very sadness and its dramatic 
scope, the audience could only be drawn from a 
limited class. So that there remained for practical 
purposes of continuous playing only The Merchant 
of Venice. There was one other play in which, 
though her part was a young one, Ellen Terry 
could always play, Much Ado about Nothing. But 
then Irving had grown too old for Benedick, and 
so for his purposes the play was past. 




f >//s// 

&r>m //if /tftf /rs/l</ // /<!// ,t/ 
f >r //if .S,r/s 



/i/ 



FRIENDS TO THE LAST 205 

Ellen Terry did not care and rightly enough 
to play only once or twice a week as Portia or in 
Nance Oldfield, given with The Bells whilst there 
was so much excellent work, in all ways suitable 
to her personality and her years, to be done. Ordi- 
narily one would not allude to these matters ; 
ladies have by right no date. But when a lady's 
Jubilee on the Stage has been a completed fact, 
to whose paramount success the whole world has 
rung, there is no need for misleading reticence. 

The mere fact of their ceasing to play together 
did not bring to a close the long artistic comrade- 
ship of Henry Irving and Ellen Terry. To the 
very last the kindly interest in each other's work 
and the affection between them never ceased or 
even slackened. Whatever one did the other 
followed with eager anxiety. Right up to the hour 
of his death Irving was interested in all that she 
did. On that last sad evening, even whilst anxiety 
for the coming changes in his own work was loom- 
ing over him, he spoke to me in his dressing-room 
about her health and her work. He spoke feelingly 
and sympathetically, and with confidence and affec- 
tion ; just as he had always done during the long 
period of their working together. He had written 
to her himself in the same vein. In his letter he 
had told her what a delight it would be to him to 
hear her Lecture on " The Letters in Shakespeare's 
Plays." 



2o6 HENRY IRVING 



X 

For my own part I have no words at command 
adequate to tell the kindly feeling which I have 
always had for the delightful creature to express 
my reverence and regard and love for her enchanting 
personality. From the very first she took me into 
the inner heart of her friendship ; unconsciously I 
was given the role of " big brother." Nay, she 
found a name for me which was all her own and 
which one would think to be the least appropriate 
to a man of my inches. When I would ask her 
about some social duty which it was necessary for 
her to attend to some important person to receive, 
some special entertainment to attend she would 
make what nurses call a " wry face " ; then she 
would ask : 

" Bram, is this earnest ? " 

" Yes ! " I would reply. " Honest injun ! " She 
would smile and pout together as she would reply : 

" All right, mama ! " Then I knew that she was 
going to play that part as nicely as it could be 
played by any human being. Indeed it was hardly 
" playing a part " for she was genuinely glad to 
meet cordiality with equal feeling. It was only the 
beginning and the publicity that she disliked. The 
picture reproduced will show how affectionately 
she carried out at times her playful pet name. 
" Fussie " is Irving's dog ; " Drummie " is her own. 

I should like to write of Ellen Terry a whole 
volume ; but after all, as this book is about Irving, 
I can only treat of her incidentally, woven though 
she was into the very texture of his artistic life. 




MISS ELLEN TERRY, 1906 



GREAT AMONGST THE GREAT 207 

Moreover, she is some day to produce a volume of 
her own. 

It is hard to believe that half a century has 
elapsed since Ellen Terry went timidly through her 
first part on the stage. The slim child dragging the 
odd-looking go-cart, which the early daguerreotype 
recorded as Mamilius in Charles Kean's production 
of A Winter's Tale, has been so long a force of 
womanly charm and radiant beauty an actress of 
such incomparable excellence that in her art as 
in our memories she almost stands alone great 
amongst the great. 

Ellen Terry is a great actress, the greatest of her 
time ; and she will have her niche in history. She 
is loved by every one who ever knew her. Her 
presence is a charm, her friendship a delight ; her 
memory will be a national as well as a personal 
possession. 



LXVI 

FRESH HONOURS IN DUBLIN 

A public reception Above politics A lesson in hand- 
shaking A remarkable address A generous gift 

WHEN we visited Dublin in the tour of 1894 there 
were some memorable experiences. Ever since 1876 
my native city had a warm place in Irving's heart. 
And very justly so, for it had showered upon him 
love and honour. This time there were two occa- 
sions which should not be forgotten. 

The first was a public Reception at the Mansion- 
House given by the then Lord Mayor, Valentine 
Dillon, a friend of my own boyhood. This took 
place on Thursday, November 29, and was in truth 
an affair of national importance. At that time the 
long-continued feuds between Conservatives and 
Liberals, Home Rulers and Unionists, Catholics and 
Protestants, which had marked with extra virulence 
for they had been long existent the past decades, 
were still operative. Still, improvement was in the 
air ; only opportunity was wanting to give it 
expression. 

The beneficent occasion came in that Reception. 
Irving and Ellen Terry were delightfully popular 
personalities. They had no politics, and what re- 
ligion either professed was not even considered; 
their artistic excellence shadowed all else. Lord 



A NATIONAL RECEPTION 209 

Mayor Dillon was a man with broad views of life 
and of the dignity of the position which he held 
for, I think, the third time. He cast very wide the 
net of his hospitable intent. He asked every one 
who was of account in any way ; and all came. 
Some three thousand persons had been bidden and 
there was a full tally of guests. When once they 
had actually met in a common cause, one and all 
seemed to take the opportunity of showing that the 
hatchet had been buried. Men who had not spoken 
for years who had not looked at each other save 
with the eyes of animosity, seemed glad to mingle 
on something of the old terms to renew old friend- 
ships and long-severed acquaintanceship. 

Irving and Ellen Terry, with some of us lesser 
lights supporting them, stood on the dais beside 
the Lord Mayor and the Lady Mayoress ; and I 
can bear witness that not one who passed went 
without a handshake from both. It was a serious 
physical effort. To shake hands with some thou- 
sands of persons would tax the strongest. Irving 
went through it with all the direct simplicity of 
his nature. Ellen Terry, having to supplement 
nature with art, rested at times her right hand and 
shook with the left with such cunning dexterity 
that no one was a whit the wiser. One and all 
went away from that hospitable and friendly 
gathering in a happy frame of mind. Dublin was 
a gainer by that wave of beneficent sympathy. 

Two days later, on the last night of the engage- 
ment, Saturday, December i, there was another 
and even more remarkable function. This was the 
presentation of a Public Address on the stage after 
the play. This Address was no ordinary one. It 

II O 



210 HENRY IRVING 

was signed by all the great public officials, both 
of the city and of the country : 

The Lord Mayor, 

The High Sheriff, 

The Lord Chancellor, 

The Commander of the Forces, 

The Lord Chief Justices, 

All the Judges, 

All the City Members of Parliament, 

The Provost of Dublin University, 

The President of the College of Surgeons, 

The President of the College of Physicians, 

All the Public Officials, 

And by a host of Leading Citizens. 

The Lord-Lieutenant, Lord Crewe, was unable to 
take a part in it as, being representative of the 
Queen, he could not engage in such an honour to 
a private person ; but he made a point of remaining 
in his box so that he might be seen to be present. 

When the curtain drew up the great body of the 
Committee, numbering about sixty, stood behind the 
Lord Mayor on one side of the stage. On the other 
Irving, with close behind him Ellen Terry, whom I 
had the honour of escorting, and all the other members 
of the Company. The Lord Mayor read the Address, 
which was conceived in love and honour and born 
in noble and touching words. In replying for him- 
self and Miss Terry, Irving was much touched, and 
had to make an effort to speak at all. There was 
a lofty look in his eyes which spoke for the sin- 
cerity of the words which he used in his reply : 

" Now when your great University has accepted 
me to the brotherhood of her sons, and when your 
city and your nation have taken me to your hearts, 
I feel that the cup of a player's honour is full to 
the brim." 



THE POOR TO BENEFIT 211 

I have not often seen him moved so much as he 
was that night. His speech and movement were 
only controlled by his strong will and the habit of 
self-repression. 

Within and without the theatre was a scene of 
wild enthusiasm not to be forgotten. I have been 
witness of many scenes of wild generosity but none 
to surpass that night. 

Irving was always anxious that others should re- 
joice in some form with his own rejoicing. Before 
leaving Dublin he placed in the hands of the Lord 
Mayor a cheque for a hundred guineas for his dis- 
posal to the use of the poor. 



LXVII 

PERFORMANCES AT SANDRINGHAM 
AND WINDSOR 

Sandringham, 1889 First appearance before the Queen 
A quick change Souvenirs Windsor, 1893 A blunder 
in old days Royal hospitality The Queen and the Press 
Sandringham, 1902 The Kaiser's visit A record 
journey An amateur conductor 



SANDRINGHAM, 1889 

IN April 1889 the Prince of Wales had the honour 
of entertaining the Queen at Sandringham. He 
wished that she should see Irving and Ellen Terry, 
neither of whom she had seen play. Accordingly 
it was arranged that on April 26 the Lyceum would 
be closed for the evening and that a performance 
should be given in Sandringham in a little theatre 
specially built in the great drawing-room in which 
were placed the exquisite trophies of arms pre- 
sented by Indian Rajahs during the Prince's visit. 
For this theatre Irving had got Walter Hann to 
paint an act drop ; scenery of a suitable size was 
prepared by Hawes Craven an exceedingly fine 
piece of miniature stage work. The Bill fixed was : 
The Bells, and the Trial Scene from The Merchant 
of Venice, the combination of which pieces would, 



SANDRINGHAM, 1889 213 

the Prince thought, show both the players at their 
best. 

On the day fixed, April 26, Irving and Miss Terry 
went down to Sandringham by the regular train 
between two and three o'clock. The special with 
the Company left St. Pancras at 3.55, arriving at 
Wolferton at a quarter to seven, whence they were 
driven to the house. 

The drawing-room looked very beautiful, the 
white walls showing up the many stands of magni- 
ficent weapons and armour; greenery and flowers 
were everywhere. At one end was the little theatre 
with a proscenium opening of some twenty feet wide, 
the arch painted in a pleasant colour between pink 
and maroon. Mr. Loveday and a staff of men had 
been down for several days as it was found neces- 
sary to have all in order before the Queen's arrival. 
Sandringham is not a very vast house, and much 
space was required for the reception of a great 
Queen who always travelled with a host of servants 
of all degrees. There was a large gathering in the 
drawing-room of not only the house guests but 
local personages ; the big music gallery at the back 
was full of tenants and servants. The Queen had 
kindly expressed her wish that the audience should 
do just as they wished as to applauding, and I must 
say that I have never seen or heard a more enthu- 
siastic audience within the bounds of decorum. 

The Queen sat in the centre in front with the 
Prince of Wales on her right and the Princess on 
her left, and others of the family beside them. 
Next came the guests in their degrees. The door- 
way was crowded with the servants the Queen's 
all in black and the Prince's in Royal scarlet liveries. 



2i 4 HENRY IRVING 

Her Majesty seemed greatly pleased. It had been 
arranged that Irving and Ellen Terry were to join 
the Prince and Princess at supper. The Queen 
would not wait up, but was to retire at once. How- 
ever, just as the players were removing their war- 
paint, Her Majesty sent word by Sir Henry Ponsonby 
that she would like to speak to Mr. Irving and 
Miss Terry. Irving was in the act of removing 
his " make-up " as Shy lock, which was a job re- 
quiring some little time. He was extraordinarily 
quick both as to dressing and undressing ; but the 
" priming " of earth on which stage paint is laid, 
grease, paint, and lampblack and spirit-gum take 
some little time to remove, even before the stage 
of soap-and-water is reached. Portia, however, is a 
part which does not soil, and as to mere dressing, 
Ellen Terry can simply fly. She knew that Irving 
would be at least a few minutes, and it is not good 
form to keep a Queen waiting. Within a minute 
she was tearing down the passage, with her dresser 
running close behind her and fastening up the back 
of her frock as she went. At the doorway she threw 
over her shoulders the scarf which was a part of 
her dress and sailed into the room with a grand 
courtesy. Within a very few minutes Irving in 
immaculate evening dress followed. 

The Queen presented Irving with a souvenir of 
the occasion in the shape of a pair of sleeve links, 
with her monogram V. R. in diamonds in red enamel. 
To Ellen Terry she gave a brooch of pearls and 
diamonds. 

Irving and Ellen Terry supped with the Royal 
guests. For the rest of the Company supper was 
prepared in the Conservatory. The heads of de- 




W 

o 
H S 

Q 2 



li 

>- Si 

a Vj 

5Q 



WINDSOR, 1893 215 

partments and workmen were entertained in the 
Housekeeper's room or the Servants' Hall accord- 
ing to their degrees. Irving had with his usual 
wish to save trouble arranged for supper for all 
the party on the train home. But the Prince 
of Wales would not hear of such a thing. He 
said that the players were his guests and that 
they must eat in his house. Some of the 
Equerries and high officials of the court supped 
in the Conseivatory with the actors. It had been 
understood that there was to be no suggestion of 
payment of even expenses. Irving was only too 
proud and happy to serve his Queen and future 
King in all ways of his own art to the best of his 
power. This arrangement was held to on every 
occasion on which he had the honour to give a 
special performance before Royalty. 

At half-past two o'clock the whole Company and 
workmen were driven to Wolferton station where 
the special train was waiting. It arrived at St. 
Pancras at a few minutes past six in the morning. 



II 

WINDSOR, 1893 

The performance at Windsor was in its way quite 
a remarkable thing. In the earlier years of her 
reign Queen Victoria was accustomed to have from 
time to time theatrical performances at Windsor 
Castle. These were generally held in the Waterloo 
Chamber, where a moveable stage was erected on 
each occasion. In old days this stage was so low 



216 HENRY IRVING 

that once Mr. Henry Howe, who had to come up 
through a trap according to the action of the piece, 
had to crawl on his stomach under the stage 
to get to the appointed place. Howe was nearly 
eighty years of age when he told me this incident, 
but the memory was so strong on him that he 
laughed like a boy. When the Prince Consort died 
in 1861 all such gaieties were stopped, and for thirty- 
two years no play was given at Windsor. But 
when in 1889 the Queen did begin to resume some- 
thing like the old life at Court her first effort in 
that direction was to command a performance by 
those players of the later day whom she had seen 
at Sandringham, whose merit was widely recog- 
nised and who had already won official recognition 
of another kind the previous year the University 
of Dublin had given Irving a degree Honoris Causa. 
Moreover, the Queen wanted to see Becket, the work 
of her own Poet Laureate, which had created so 
much interest and thought. 

Sir Henry Ponsonby, the Queen's Private Secre- 
tary, came from Windsor to see Irving at Her 
Majesty's wish. Irving was, of course, delighted to 
hold himself at the Queen's will. The only stipula- 
tion which he made was that he was to be allowed 
to bear the expenses of all kinds and was not to 
be offered fee or pay of any kind, even though 
such was a usual formality. For this he had a 
special reason ; not to set himself up as an indi- 
vidual against the custom of the Court, but to 
avoid the possibility of such a bttise as had in 
earlier years stopped the Windsor theatrical per- 
formances for a time. The way of it was this : 
At the commencement of the system of having such 



A B&TISE 217 

performances the Queen had left the matter in the 
hands of Charles Kean, then manager of the Prin- 
cess's Theatre, and acknowledged head of the 
theatrical calling. He and his assistants made all 
the necessary arrangements, taking care that the 
gift of the Court patronage was, as fairly as was 
possible, divided amongst actors both in London 
and throughout the provinces. This worked ex- 
cellently ; and there were few, if any, jealousies. 
Kean made all the financial arrangements and paid 
salaries on the scale fixed on his suggestion by the 
Privy Purse. Matters went along smoothly so 
long as Kean had control. Later on, however, this 
was handed over to Mr. Mitchell of Bond Street, 
the agent who acted for the Queen with regard to 
her visits to London theatres and other places of 
amusement. At last came trouble. The scale of 
salary fixed was, I believe for I can only speak 
from hearsay at the rate of twice the actors' 
earnings in the previous year. On one occasion an 
actor of some repute was through some incredible 
stupidity paid at this rate, strictly applied though 
the case was exceptional. He had been for years 
receiving a large salary, but during nearly the whole 
of the previous year had been ill and of course 
" out of work." His total earnings therefore when 
divided by fifty-two amounted to but a meagre 
weekly wage. At a nightly standard it was ridi- 
culous. Kean would of course, as an actor, have 
understood this and have carried out the spirit of 
Her Majesty's wishes. But the man of business went 
" by the card," and when the comedian received the 
dole sent to him he was highly indignant, and deter- 
mined to taste some form of satisfaction, if only of 



2i 8 HENRY IRVING 

revenge for his injured feelings. Of course the Queen 
knew nothing of all this, and be sure she was in- 
censed when she heard of it. The actor's form of 
revenge was to send the amount of salary paid to 
him to the police court poor box as a contribution 
from himself and Queen Victoria. 

I may be wrong in details of the story, for it is 
one of fifty years ago, but in the main it is correct. 
I had it from Irving and I have often heard it 
spoken about by old actors of the time. With 
such a catastrophe in his memory Irving naturally 
wished to be careful. He had to consider not only 
himself but his whole Company, hundreds of persons 
of all degrees. Some of them might look on the 
affair as an Eldorado whence should come wealth 
beyond the dreams of avarice and be " disgruntled " 
at any failure to that end. When he was himself 
the paymaster and shared as an individual the 
conditions attaching to his comrades, there could 
be no complaint. Henry Irving was a most loyal 
subject ; he wished at all times to render love and 
honour to the Monarch, and as he was in his own 
way a conspicuous individual it was necessary to 
be careful lest his good intentions should stray. 

Sir Henry Ponsonby quite understood Irving' s 
feelings and wishes, and acceded to them. Train 
arrangements were to be at the expense of the 
Queen, who was particular that this should be the 
rule with all her guests. Of course Irving ac- 
quiesced. When the day March 18, which the 
Queen wished had been arranged the matter of 
accomplishment was left entirely in his hands. 
Forthwith the work of preparation began. 

On the 2nd March I had taken with me to 



MINIATURE SCENERY 219 

Windsor the heads of our various stage departments 
and the scene painter ; a week later Irving went 
himself, taking Loveday with him. 

New scenery, exactly the same as that in use 
but on a smaller scale and better suited in its 
mechanism to the limited space, was painted ; and 
with it a beautiful proscenium for the miniature 
theatre built up in the Waterloo Chamber. As 
there would not be room for the usual number of 
supers or chorus, most of these were taken by the 
minor members of the Company, and all were care- 
fully rehearsed. As it was, however, the first con- 
tingent which went to Windsor on the morning of 
the day of performance numbered one hundred and 
seventy-eight persons. 

We had a full rehearsal on the day of perform- 
ance, lasting up to half-past four o'clock. 

The day was a lovely one, cold and bright, and 
except when rehearsing the Lyceum Company found 
endless pleasure in wandering in the gardens or on 
the Terrace from which the view was superb ; the 
river winding its quiet way through fields and 
woods; the whole fair landscape softened in misty 
distance. The ceaseless cawing of the rooks over- 
head enhanced the effect. Within doors the players 
examined the endless art treasures of the Castle. 

At nine o'clock the Queen arrived, walking slowly 
through the long corridor. She sat, of course, in 
the centre of the dais, with the Empress Frederick 
of Germany on her right and the Prince of Wales 
on her left. The room was exquisitely decorated 
with plants and flowers, and as it was filled with 
ladies and gentlemen in court dress and uniform, 
the effect was very fine. The play went well. The 



220 HENRY IRVING 

Queen had with graceful and kindly forethought 
given orders that all present might applaud as they 
would it not having been etiquette to applaud on 
such occasions without Royal permission. Another 
piece of thoughtful kindness of Her Majesty was to 
have amongst the guests staying for the week-end 
at Windsor Lord and Lady Tennyson. The adap- 
tation of the play to the lesser space than the 
Lyceum was so judiciously done that one did not 
notice any difference. 

At the close of the performance the Queen sent 
for Irving and Ellen Terry and complimented them 
on the perfection and beauty of their playing. To 
Irving she said : 

" It is a very noble play ! What a pity that old 
Tennyson did not live to see it. It would have 
delighted him as it has delighted Us ! " 

She also received Genevieve Ward and William 
Terriss. 

: v The Queen always wished that her guests of all 
degrees should be made welcome, and Sir Henry 
Ponsonby said that she had arranged that all the 
Company, players and workmen of all kinds, should 
dine and take supper in the Castle. The dinner 
was less formal, but the supper was in its way a 
function. Four different rooms were arranged for 
the purpose. In the first were the acting Company 
and higher officials to the number of about fifty. 
The gentlemen of the orchestra and the heads of 
departments in the second and third; the work- 
men, &c., in the fourth. At the end all drank the 
Queen's health loyally. 

There was an immense amount of public interest 
in this performance. So high it ran that all the 



MARKING AN EPOCH 221 

great newspapers asked permission to be repre- 
sented. This request could not be acceded to as 
it was a purely private affair ; the utmost that 
could by usage be allowed was that press repre- 
sentatives should during the afternoon be allowed 
to see the Waterloo Chamber prepared for the 
performance in the evening. 

Late in the afternoon I received a request from 
a lot of the chief papers that I should myself ask 
permission to send a short despatch, say some five 
hundred words, at the close of the performance. I 
took the message to Sir Henry Ponsonby, who seemed 
very much struck with it, as though the public 
importance of the event had suddenly dawned on 
him. He said : 

" I must take this to the Queen at once and learn 
her wishes respecting it. The matter seems to be 
of much more importance than I had thought ! " 
He came back shortly, seemingly very pleased, and 
said to me, speaking as he approached : 

" The Queen says that she is very pleased to give 
permission. Mr. Bram Stoker may write whatever 
he pleases about the event. But he must say 
nothing till after the performance is all over." Then 
he added, " The Queen also told me to explain 
that she was sending orders to have the telegraph 
office in the Castle kept open for your convenience 
till you have quite done with it. I had better ex- 
plain that the telegraph office here is a private one 
and that the Queen pays for all telegrams. This 
she insists on." 

Altogether the performance was a very memorable 
one. It marked an epoch in the life of the Great 
Queen that in which she broke the long gloom of 



222 HENRY IRVING 

more than thirty years and began the restoration 
to something like the old happy life of the earlier 
years of her reign. 



Ill 

SANDRINGHAM, 1902 

The second visit to Sandringham came thirteen 
years after the first, being in 1902 after the King's 
accession. The occasion was that of the Kaiser's 
visit. The King wished to have a surprise for him ; 
and at the time he had his " Command " conveyed 
to Irving his wish was intimated that the matter 
should be kept absolutely secret till the event came 
off. This we could see was to be a difficult task ; 
but the promise was given and kept. At the date 
fixed November 14 we would be playing in Belfast, 
so that the task to get there and return with the loss 
of only one night to the audience was really a stupen- 
dous one. It would involve special arrangements 
with at least one shipping company and several rail- 
ways. This would necessitate the fact of the journey 
being known to so many people that really secrecy 
seemed impossible of achievement. However the 
matter was undertaken and had to be done. Not 
a soul other than the actively engaged knew of the 
affair beforehand. Even Ellen Terry was purposely 
kept in the dark. As the only play to be given by 
Irving was Waterloo the cast was small, there being 
only four people in it. These with three others 
would comprise the party. One man had been sent 
to London to bring down the scene specially painted 



A DIFFICULT JOURNEY 223 

for the occasion and to see to arrangements. Mr. 
Ben Webster, who was to play his original part of 
Colonel Midwinter, was to come from London, where 
he was then playing. Let me say here that not 
the slightest whisper went forth on our side ; and 
we were surprised to see an account of what was 
to be done, which evidently came from another 
branch of the entertainment being made ready for 
the King's Imperial guest. 

When we began to consider the practicability of 
the journey my heart sank. There seemed no 
way by which the out and return journeys could 
be done. I was for a time seriously considering 
the advisability of asking for a torpedo boat to 
run us over from Belfast to Stranraer, Barrow, 
Fleetwood, or Liverpool. At last Mr. James Wright, 
the representative of Mr. Turnbull, Traffic Superin- 
tendent of the London and North- Western Railway, 
and James McDowell, Manager of the Belfast and 
Liverpool Steamship Company, came up to Glasgow, 
and after a good deal of consideration arranged a 
journey which could only have been done by placing 
the whole resources of shipping and railway com- 
panies at our disposal. The Magic, the fastest boat 
of the Belfast line, was to be taken off her regular 
service two days before ; loaded up with the best 
Welsh coal, and held ready at the wharf with full 
steam up on the evening of the journey. The rail- 
roading would be arranged from Euston. 

Faust was played in Belfast on the night of 
November 13. As each one of the little party 
finished on the stage they got dressed and were 
driven down to the wharf. The moment the last call 
was given at the end of the play Irving hurried into 



224 HENRY IRVING 

his travelling clothes, and he and I and Walter were 
whirled off to the Magic. The instant we passed 
on deck the gangway plank was drawn and the ship 
started off full speed. Such was contrary to law, 
as ships can only go part speed in the Loch. But 
no one made objections ; we were on the King's 
service. Mr. McDowell came with us. Supper was 
ready. 

We got to Liverpool at eight in the morning and 
found alongside the dock the special carriage, one of 
the Royal saloons used on the London and North- 
Western Railway ; got on board, and were whirled 
off to Crewe, where we caught the fast express to 
Rugby. There we took on a dining-car and went 
on to Peterborough. Here our carriage was handed 
over to the Great Eastern Company, which took us 
on the fast train to Lynn, and thence on a special 
to Wolferton. 

At the station we found a whole row of reporters. 
They were not allowed to go to Sandringham. I 
promised to ask for leave to send them word as 
soon as the performance should be over. The per- 
mission was graciously acceded, and when all was 
over I sent the line agreed on, " Programme adhered 
to." It was extended to a column next morning 
in some of the papers. 

The King had sent a brougham for Sir Henry. 
In it he, Miss Hackney and I were driven at once 
to Sandringham. The others came on almost imme- 
diately by one of the King's motor buses. Inciden- 
tally I may say that there was some concern in the 
official world and certain private reprimanding be- 
cause even that brougham was allowed to pass in 
unchallenged. The police arrangements were very 



DRUMS MISSING 225 

properly carried out with the most extraordinary 
exactitude. 

After tea Irving went to lie down for a while in 
the room provided for him, and let me say that 
it was no joke providing a room at Sandringham 
at that time. The Kaiser had with him a vast and 
important entourage, and all the English guests had 
to put up with such accommodation as was possible, 
which of course they were loyally glad to do. 

At ten o'clock precisely, Sandringham time 
which is half-an-hour ahead of standard time 
the Kaiser and the Queen moved into the great 
drawing-room where the stage was fixed. Then 
followed the King and family, and guests. There 
were altogether some three hundred and fifty in 
the room. 

As the movement to the theatre began there 
was a to us amusing episode. After our arrival, 
when things were being put in order for the per- 
formance, it had been discovered that kettle drums 
were missing. Either they had not been sent at all 
or they had gone astray. At first we took it for 
granted that in such a scene of pomp and splendour 
as was around us drums and drummers would be 
easy to find. But it was not so. Drums were 
obtainable but no drummer, and there was not time 
to get one from the nearest town. Now the 
military music is necessary for the performance of 
Waterloo; the quicksteps are not only required for 
the Prelude but are in the structure of the piece. 
For the occasion of the Imperial visit, there had 
been brought from Vienna a celebrated string band, 
the conductor of high status in his art and all the 

components of the band fine players. But there was 
ii p 



226 HENRY IRVING 

no drummer ; and there could be even no proper re- 
hearsal of the incidental music of the play without 
the drums. We were beginning to despair, when 
the head constable of the county who was present 
said that there was one man in the police of the 
division who was the drummer of the Police Band 
of the district, and undertook to try and find him. 
After much telegraphing and telephoning it was 
found that he was out on his beat about the farthest 
point of his district. However, when he was located 
a trap with a fresh horse was sent for him. He 
arrived tired and foodless just before the time fixed 
for beginning. He was a fine performer fortunately, 
a master of his work, and with the score before him 
needed no preparation. 

When the signal was given of the movement of 
the Royalties the Conductor took his baton, but 
when he looked at the score of the Prelude, which 
is continually changing time with the medley of the 
various regimental quicksteps, he said : 

" I cannot play it." 

" Go on, man ! Go on ! " said Belmore, who was 
acting as stage manager. 

" I cannot ! " he answered ; " I cannot ! >] and 
stood unmoving. Things were serious, for already 
the procession was formed and the Kaiser and the 
Queen were entering the room. It had been 
arranged that the Prelude was to play them to 
their seats. " Give me the stick ! " said Belmore 
suddenly, and took the fiddle bow with which he 
conducted from the unresisting hand of the stranger. 
Of course all this was behind the scenes and amongst 
ourselves only. Then he began to conduct. He had 
never done so, but he had some knowledge of music. 



AN AMATEUR CONDUCTOR 227 

But the gentlemen of the band did not hesitate. 
They were all fine musicians and well accustomed to 
playing together. Probably they were not averse 
from showing that they could play perfectly without 
a conductor at all ! They certainly did seem to play 
with especial verve. Belmore was a sight to behold. 
He seemed to know all the tricks of leadership, 
modifying or increasing tone with one hand whilst 
he beat time with the other ; pausing dramatically 
with uplifted baton or beating with sudden force- 
fulness ; screwing round with his left hand as 
though to twist the music into a continued unity. 
Anyhow it or something told. The music went 
excellently and without a hitch. 

Waterloo went splendidly, and we heard afterwards 
that the Kaiser was delighted with it. It was 
followed by Dr. Johnson, in which Mr. and Mrs. 
Arthur Bourchier took the principal parts. Irving 
was asked to supper with the Royal party ; so 
too were Mr. and Mrs. Bourchier. The rest of us 
supped in the Conservatory with the Equerries and 
others. 

At one o'clock half -past one Sandringham time 
we drove to Wolferton, where two trains stood 
ready to start. One, a long one for London the 
other a special consisting of engine and brake-van 
and the two sleeping saloons. The row of re- 
porters were again on the platform and went back 
on the London train. 

Our party got to sleep as soon as we could. At 
a quarter to seven in the morning we got to the 
dock at Liverpool and went aboard the Magic 
which stood ready with steam up. The tide was 
low, but as there was much fog in the river Mr. 



228 HENRY IRVING 

McDowell arranged that the dock-gates should be 
opened before the usual hour. We actually stirred 
up the mud with the screw as we passed out into 
the Mersey. The river was dark with thick fog and 
we had to find our way, inch by inch, to beyond 
New Brighton. We were beginning to despair of 
arriving at Belfast in time when we cleared the belt 
of fog. We came out seemingly all at once into 
bright sunshine which lasted all the way home. It 
was a delightful day and a delightful run. The sun 
was bright, the air fresh and bracing and the water 
of sapphire blue so calm that passing to the 
south' ard of the Isle of Man we ran between the 
Calf and the Hen and Chickens the dangerous 
cluster of rocks lying just outside it. 

We ran full tilt up Belfast Lough and arrived at 
the wharf at five o'clock in good time for a wash 
and dress for the theatre. 

When Irving stepped on the stage that night he 
got a right hearty cheer. 

That journey was in many ways a record. 



LXVIII 

PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES 

Chester Arthur Grover Cleveland A judgment on taste 
McKinley The " War Room " Reception after a 
Cabinet Council McKinley's memory Theodore Roose- 
velt His justice as Police Commissioner Irving at his 
New Year Reception 



HENRY IRVING had the honour of calling four Presi- 
dents of the United States by the name of friend. 

The first was General Chester A. Arthur, who was 
in his high office in 1884 when Irving first visited 
Washington. The President sent to him a most 
kindly invitation to a Reception through Clayton 
McMichael, then Marshal of the district of Columbia. 
This was on the night of Saturday, 8th March. They 
had already met on Wednesday, 5th. Irving had 
called at the White House and had the honour of 
an interview. On the occasion of the Reception 
he had asked Irving to remain with a very few inti- 
mate friends after the rest had gone. They sat till 
a late or rather an early hour. 



II 

Irving' s first meeting with Mr. Grover Cleveland 
was when the latter was President-Elect. The 



230 HENRY IRVING 

occasion was the matinee for the benefit of the 
Actors' Fund at the Academy of Music in New York, 
December 4, 1887. Mr. Cleveland was in a box, and 
when Irving had with Ellen Terry played the fourth 
act of The Merchant of Venice he sent to ask if he 
would come to see him in his box. The occasion 
seemed rather peculiar as Irving thus described it 
to me that evening : 

" When I came into the box Mr. Cleveland turned 
round and, seeing me, stood up and greeted me 
warmly. As I was thus facing the stage I could 
hot help noticing that a man dressed exactly as 
I dressed Shylock, and with a wig and make up 
counterparts of my own, was playing some droll 
antics with a pump and milk cans. The President- 
Elect saw, I suppose, the surprise on my face, for 
he turned to the stage for a moment and then, 
turning back to me again, said in a grave way : 

(< ' That doesn't seem very good taste, does it ! ' 
Then leaning against the side of the box with his 
face to me and his back to the stage, he went on 
speaking about Shylock." 



Ill 

Major McKinley was a friend before he was nomi- 
nated for President. The first meeting was at New 
York on November 16, 1893. He came to the play 
with Melville Stone, a great friend of Irving' s who 
introduced Irving to him. The following week we 
all met again at supper with John Sergeant Wise. 
This time Joseph Jefferson was of the party. After- 
wards in Cleveland Mark Hanna brought him round 



THE "WAR ROOM" 231 

to see Irving in his dressing-room. This was after 
his election. Amongst other things we spoke of 
the possibility of Mark Hanna coming as United 
States Ambassador to London. " Ah ! if he only 
would ! " said McKinley. 

In 1899, during our visit to Washington, Irving 
and I called at the White House to pay our respects 
to the President then in his second term of office. 
The officials of course recognised Sir Henry, and said 
that they knew the President would wish to see him. 
A Cabinet meeting was on, but when word was sent 
the President graciously sent a message asking 
Irving to wait as the Cabinet was nearly over and 
he wished to see him. We waited in the " War 
Room," a small by comparison room off the 
Council Chamber. Here we were taken charge of 
by Colonel Montgomery, who explained to us the 
mechanism by which the President was made aware 
of and could control all that was then going on in 
the Philippines where the war was being pursued 
with grim determination on both sides. All round 
the room were land maps and sea charts, and on 
either was marked as news came the position of 
each body of soldiers or each ship. The room was 
full of telegraph instruments and telephones some 
one of which was nearly always at work. Whilst 
we were waiting a message came that a certain 
advanced party of United States troops were sur- 
rounded and in great danger, and a message was 
sent by the President to hold their position at any 
cost, relief was coming. Irving was immensely 
struck with all this, and said it was the most wonder- 
ful piece of organisation he had ever known. 

Presently word was brought that the Cabinet 



232 HENRY IRVING 

Council was over and would we go in. It was a 
really impressive sight all the more as there was 
no pomp or parade of any sort. In the middle of 
the great room with its row of arched windows 
stood the President, the baldness of his domed fore- 
head making more apparent than ever his likeness 
to Napoleon. Grouped round him were the various 
chiefs of State departments, amongst them John 
Hay, Secretary of State ; Elihu Root, Secretary for 
War ; Charles Emory Smith, Postmaster-General, all 
of whom were by that time old friends. We had 
known them intimately since 1883-4. The Presi- 
dent was sweetly gracious. We thought that he 
did not seem well in health ; there was a waxen 
hue in his face which we did not like. The terrible 
labour of the Presidency increased in his time by 
two wars was undoubtedly telling on his strength. 
We were with him quite half-an-hour, a long while 
for such a place and time, and then came away. 

That night we supped with the Secretary for War 
in his house in Rhode Island Avenue ; he had a 
great gathering of officials nearly all the Cabinet, 
the Paymaster-General, General Bates and his wife, 
and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Nelson Page, friends 
whom Irving held dear as I have the pleasure 
of so doing myself. 

Indeed that was a long week in Washington. I do 
not know that in all my experience of Irving he ever 
went out so many times in a week. Sunday night, 
24th December, reception and supper at the house 
of Wayne Macveigh, formerly Federal Attorney- 
General and late United States Ambassador to 
Italy ; Tuesday as I have said ; Wednesday to 
lunch with the British Ambassador, Lord Paunce- 



THE KING ALFRED MILLENARY 233 

fote Ellen Terry being of the party ; Thursday 
to lunch with the Postmaster-General here were 
all the Cabinet except the Attorney-General, who 
was ill ; Friday to lunch with the Secretary of 
State, and to supper with the Nelson Pages. This 
last was one of the most delightful parties which 
Irving or any one else ever had the privilege of 
attending. Four o'clock found us still unbroken. 

At that visit to the White House we saw Presi- 
dent McKinley for the last time. His assassination 
was attempted on 6th September 1901 ; he died 
on 1 4th. 

On the i8th September Irving gave his Reading 
of Becket at Winchester for the King Alfred 
Millenary. He was called on to speak, and after 
speaking of King Alfred and what he had done 
for the making of England, he said : 

" All that race which looks on King Alfred's 
memory as a common heritage is in bitter grief 
for one whom to-morrow a mourning nation 
is to lay to rest. President McKinley was at 
once avatar and emblem of noble purpose, high 
thought and patriotism. He, like his prede- 
cessor of a thousand years ago, though he 
worked' immediately for his own country, 
worked for all the world ; and his memory shall 
be green for ever in the hearts of a loyal and 
expansive race in the hearts of all English- 
speaking people." 

IV 

Irving' s first meeting with Theodore Roosevelt 
was on 27th November 1895. The occasion was a 



234 HENRY IRVING 

luncheon party given by Seth Low, ex-Mayor of 
Brooklyn and then President of Columbia College, 
where a week before Irving had lectured on " The 
Character of Macbeth." The party numbered 
sixteen all told and included Charles Dudley 
Warner, W. D. Howells, Joseph Choate, Professors 
Morse, Price, and Brander Matthews. At that 
time Mr. Roosevelt was Commissioner of Police for 
the City of New York, with absolute power over 
the whole force. He had been appointed for a 
term of years irremovably. After the Lexow Com- 
mission it was necessary that the force should be 
re-organised. To do so required brains, energy, 
integrity, and an iron hand. Irving and I used 
often to talk of him and the task which he had 
undertaken, and we were both delighted to meet 
him. He and Irving had a chat together before 
lunch and again after it. For myself he was a 
person of extraordinary interest. Mr. Low, whom 
I had met a few years before at dinner in the 
house of the Baroness Burdett-Coutts, introduced 
me, and before lunch we had a chat. 
Before he left he came to me and said : 
" I am holding a sort of Court of justice the 
day after to-morrow a trial of the charges made 
against policemen during the last fortnight. Would 
you like to come with me ; you seem to be inte- 
rested in the subject ? " 

Of course I jumped at the chance ; it was ex- 
ceedingly kind of him to give me such a unique 
opportunity. I went down at the hour appointed. 
The place was an immense hall where were gathered 
all the complainants with their witnesses, and 
the police with their witnesses. I estimated the 



JUSTICE INCARNATE 235 

number of persons present at not less than a 
thousand. The place of judgment was a raised 
table at the end of the room. The Commissioner 
sat behind it, and I beside him. Everything was 
done in perfect order. The Commissioner had the 
list of cases before him, and when one was over 
a lusty officer with a stentorian voice called out 
the next. Those interested in each case had been 
already grouped, so that when the case was 
announced the whole body thus segregated moved 
up in front of the table. The method was simple. 
The case was stated as briefly as possible the 
Commissioner saw to that ; the witnesses for the 
prosecution gave their evidence and were now and 
again asked a question from the Bench. Then the 
defendant had his say and produced his witnesses, 
if any ; and again came an occasional searching 
question from the Commissioner, who when he had 
satisfied himself as to the justice of the case would 
smite the table with his hand and order on the 
next case. While the little crowd was changing 
places he would write a few words on the paper 
before him judgment and perhaps sentence in one. 
The Commissioner was incarnate justice, and his 
judgments were given with a direct simplicity and 
brevity which were very remarkable. Each one 
would take only a few minutes ; sometimes as few 
as two or three, never more than about twelve or 
fifteen. As there were very many cases brevity 
was a necessity. 

Now and then in a case very difficult of con- 
clusion Mr. Roosevelt, when he had written his 
decision, would turn to me and say : 

" What do you think of that ? " I would answer 



236 HENRY IRVING 

to the best of my own opinion : "I think the man's 
innocent ! " or "I think he is guilty ! " Then he 
would turn up the paper, lying face down, and 
show me what had been his own decision. As in 
every such case it was exactly what I had said, I 
thought naturally that he was very just. 

I came away from the Court with a very pro- 
found belief in Mr. Roosevelt. I wrote afterwards 
in my diary : 

" Must be President some day. A man you can't 
cajole, can't frighten, can't buy." 

On December 28, 1903, Irving commenced a week's 
engagement at Washington. On the morning of 
Friday, January i, 1904, he received a letter from 
the President saying that he was that day holding 
his New Year's Reception and that he would be 
very pleased if he would come. Sir Henry would 
be expected to come by the private entrance with 
the Ambassadors. It was such a letter as to make 
its recipient feel proud so courteous, so full of 
fine feeling and genuine hospitality so significant 
of his liking and respect. The night before we had 
kept Irving up rather late. After the play and 
supper some of his comrades stopping in the hotel 
went up to bid him God-speed to usher out the 
Old Year and to usher in the New to keep the 
" First Foot " in Scotch fashion. 

Irving did not rise next morning till a little 
later than usual and so did not receive the kind 
letter of the President in time to take full advan- 
tage of it. When he was dressed we went off to 
the White House and went in by the private 
entrance at the back. The Ambassadorial functions 



NEW YEAR RECEPTION 237 

were over, but we were brought up at once and met 
him just as the section of " Veterans of the War " 
were beginning to pay their respects. He stood a 
little inside the doorway on the right and shook 
hands with every one who came no light task 
in itself as there were on the queue for the recep- 
tion a good many thousands of persons, male and 
female. The long line four deep extended far into 
the neighbouring streets, winding round the corners 
like a huge black snake, and disappearing in the 
distance. The serpentine appearance was increased 
by the slow movement as the crowd advanced 
inch by inch. 

Beside the President stood Mrs. Roosevelt and 
beyond him all the ministers of his Cabinet with 
their wives in line all the ladies were in full dress. 
The room was in form of a segment of a circle 
and the crowd passed between red cords stretched 
across the base of the arc, the President's party 
being behind either cord. The President gave 
Irving a really cordial greeting and held him for 
a minute or two speaking a long time with such 
a crowd waiting. He did not know that I was 
with Irving, but when he saw me he addressed me 
by name. He certainly has a royal memory ! He 
asked us to go behind the ropes and join his family 
and friends. This we did. We remained there a 
full hour, and Irving was made much of by all. 



LXIX 

KNIGHTHOOD 

Irving' s intimations of the honour First State recognition 

in any country William /. and Haase A deluge of 

congratulations The Queen's pleasure A wonderful 

Address Former suggestion of knighthood 



LATE in the afternoon of Friday, May 24, 1895, I 
got from Irving the following telegram : 

" Could you look in at quarter to six. Something 
important." 

When I saw him he showed me two letters which 
he had received. One was from the Prime Minister, 
the Earl of Rosebery, telling him that the Queen 
had conferred on him the honour of knighthood 
in personal recognition and for his services to art. 

The other was from the Prince of Wales con- 
gratulating him on the event. 

The announcement had given him very much 
pleasure, and even when I saw him he was much 
moved. Together we drove to Ellen Terry's home 
in Longridge Road to tell her the news. 

The next day was the Queen's Birthday on which 
the " Honour List " was promulgated, and when 
it was known that Irving was so honoured the 
telegrams, letters and cables began to pour in 



FIRST ACTOR HONOURED, QUA ACTOR 239 

from all parts of the world. For it was in its 
way a remarkable event. It was the first time 
that in any country an actor had been, qua actor, 
honoured by the State. When Got had been given 
the Legion of Honour by the French Government 
it had been specially intimated that it was as a 
Professor that he was its recipient. In Germany 
where the theatre is largely a State undertaking, 
recognition is not given to actors. Irving used 
to tell a story of Haase, the German actor, who 
was a great favourite with the Kaiser, William I. 
During a performance the Kaiser sent for Haase, 
who put on his dress coat with all the decorations 
given to him by various States and Bodies. The 
Emperor noticed them and said : 

" Why, Haase, what a lot of orders you have ! " 
To which the actor ventured to reply : 

" Your Majesty, there is only one which could 
make me happy." 

" And what is that, Haase, what is that ? " 
" One given at the hand of your Majesty ! " 
" No ! no ! Haase," he replied quickly, " you 
must not think of that ! That can never be ! An 
actor can neither give nor receive a challenge ! " 

It really seemed as if the whole world rejoiced 
at the honour to Irving. The letters and telegrams 
kept coming literally in hundreds during the next 
two days, and cables constantly arrived from 
America, Australia, Canada, India, and from nearly 
all the nations in Europe. They were bewildering. 
Late in the afternoon of Saturday Irving sat at 
his desk in the Lyceum before piles of them opened 
by one of the clerks. Presently he turned to me 
with his hand to his head and said : 



2 4 o HENRY IRVING 

" I really can't read any more of these at present. 
I must leave them to you, old chap. They make 
my head swim." Of course he did in time read 
them all ; and sent answers too. For three days 
several men were at work copying out the answers 
as he sorted them out into heaps, each heap having 
a similar wording. It was quite impossible to send 
a distinctly different answer to each and it was not 
necessary. 

The actual knighting took place at Windsor 
Castle on July 18. The account of it was told by 
Arthur Arnold, who was knighted in the same batch, 
and who came very soon after Irving. He said 
that the Queen, who usually did not make any 
remark to the recipient of the honour as she laid 
the sword on his shoulder, said on this occasion : 

" I am very, very pleased." 



II 

The corollary of the honour came the next day 
when on the Lyceum stage a presentation was made 
to Irving by his fellow-players. This was unique 
of its kind. It was an Address of Congratulation 
signed by every actor in the kingdom. The Address 
was read by Sir (then Mr.) Squire Bancroft. Irving 
was greatly touched by it ; few things were so 
essentially dear to him as the approval of his 
fellows. The unanimity was in itself a wonder. 
The Address was in the shape of a volume and was 
contained in a beautiful casket of gold and crystal 
designed by Johnston Forbes-Robertson a painter 
as well as a player. 




HENRY IRVING 
Reproduced by j:er mission of Mrs. Aria (from her Irving collection) 



SUGGESTION OF KNIGHTHOOD 241 

Johnston Forbes-Robertson was a devoted friend 
of Henry Irving, and at his death he took a promi- 
nent part in securing that the dead player should 
be laid to rest in Westminster Abbey. 



Ill 

The idea of knighthood for Irving was not new 
in that year, 1895. I mention this now because 
after his death a statement was made that he had 
by a lecture at the Royal Institution compelled the 
Government to give him knighthood. The state- 
ment was, of course, more than ridiculous. Here 
is what happened to my own knowledge : 

In 1883, before Irving' s visit to America, I was 
consulted, I understood on behalf of a very exalted 
person, by the late Sir James Mackenzie, as to 
whether the conferring of knighthood would be 
pleasing to Mr. Irving. It has never been usual to 
confer the honour on an unwilling recipient any 
more than it has been to allow any " forcing " to be 
effective. I asked for a day to find out. Then I con- 
veyed the result of my veiled inquiry into the matter. 
At that time Irving thought it was better that an 
actor, whilst actively pursuing his calling, should not 
be so singled out from his fellows. On my showing 
the matter was not proceeded with at that time. 
From the very beginning of his management of the 
Lyceum he had been scrupulously particular that 
all the names given on the cast of the play 
should be printed in the same type. That rule 
was never altered even after his knighthood. But 

as he was no longer " Mr." and would not be called 
n Q 



242 HENRY IRVING 

by his title he thenceforth appeared as " Henry 
Irving." Advertisement was, of course, different as 
to type, but he did not use the title. 



IV 

But in the twelve years that had elapsed since 
1883 many things had changed. Other Arts had 
benefited by the large measures of official recog- 
nition extended to them, and the very fact of the 
art of Acting not having any official recognition was 
being used as an argument that it was not an 
art at all. Indeed his lecture at the Royal Insti- 
tution, whilst it was in no way intended to " force " 
recognition or had no power of so doing, was taken 
as a manifest proof that the conferring of the 
honour would be regarded in a favourable light. 
Thus it was that in 1895 no " judicious " opinion 
was asked ; none was necessary. The Prime 
Minister was assured that there could not be any 
contretemps, and even the Prince of Wales felt 
secure in his most gracious letter of congratulation. 

I feel it too bad that one who in his days tried 
to live up to the ideal of discretion, and has 
regarded reticence as a duty rather than a motive, 
should have to speak openly, even after a lapse of 
years, on so private a matter, and I can only trust 
that I may be forgiven should any one with the 
power of forgiveness see the need of it. But such 
statements as those to which I have alluded are 
calculated to destroy all the claim of gracious 
courtesy of the spontaneous kindness from which 
high favour springs ; and it is, I think, better that 



THE KING'S GRACE 243 

I should be deemed to err than that such a mis- 
conception should be allowed to pass. 



The King was always a most gracious and generous 
friend to Irving. Throughout the whole manage- 
ment of the Lyceum and to the time of Irving' s 
death, King Edward, both as Prince and King, 
extended to him the largest measure of his approval. 
He gave him a position by his very courtesy and 
by the hospitalities which he graciously gave and 
accepted. When players dined with him the post 
of honour on his right hand was always given to 
Irving. He showed his own immediate surround- 
ings in private as well as the world in public that 
he respected Irving as well as liked and admired 
him. He showed that he considered the Player in 
his own way to have brought some measure of 
honour to the great nation that he rules and whose 
countless hearts he sways. 

He often honoured the player by being his guest 
in the theatre. At the marriage of the present 
Prince of Wales he was given a place in St. James's 
Palace ; at the Queen's funeral he was bidden to 
a seat in St. George's Chapel at Windsor. At the 
King's coronation he was amongst the guests 
invited to Westminster Abbey. 

And, whether as Prince or King, his Most Gracious 
Majesty Edward VII. R. et I. had no more loyal, 
no more respectful, no more believing, no more 
loving subject than Henry Irving. 



LXX 

HENRY IRVING AND UNIVERSITIES 

Dublin Cambridge Glasgow Oxford Manchester 
Harvard Columbia Chicago Princeton Learned 
Bodies and Institutions 



DUBLIN 

THE first University to recognise Irving' s great 
position was that of Dublin. In 1876 it gave him 
an informal Address. In 1892 it conferred on him 
the degree of Doctor of Literature " Litt.D." As 
this was the first occasion on which a University 
degree was given Honoris Causa to an actor, qua 
actor, it may be allowable to say something of it. 

It had for a long time been the intention of the 
Senate to confer on him a suitable degree. The 
occasion came in the celebration of the Tercen- 
tenary of the University, which was founded by 
Queen Elizabeth. 

In order to be present Irving had to go out of 
the bill at the Lyceum, where we were then playing 
Henry VIII. He and I travelled to Dublin by the 
mail of Tuesday, 5th July. We had heard that the 
Dublin folk and the Irish generally were very 
pleased that he was to receive the honour, but the 
first evidence we saw of it was the attitude of 



"DOCTHOR SIR HENRY" 245 

the chief steward on the mail boat. He could not 
make enough of Irving, and in his excitement con- 
fused his honours and invented new ones. He was 
at a loss what to call him. He tried " Docthor," 
but it did not seem to satisfy him. Then he tried 
" Sir Henry " this was three years before he was 
knighted ; but this also seemed inadequate. Then 
he tried " Docthor Sir Henry " ; this seemed to 
meet his ideas and to it he stuck. 

The function of the conferring of degrees was a 
most interesting one, the mere pageant of it was 
fine. There were representatives of nearly all the 
Universities of the world, each in its proper robes. 
As Irving passed to his place in the Examination 
Hall he was loudly cheered. I was, of course, not 
close to him ; I sat with the Senate, of which I 
am a member. He looked noble and distinguished, 
and the robes seemed to suit him. His height and 
bearing and lean figure carried off the peculiarly 
strong mass of colour. The robes of the Dublin 
Doctor of Letters are scarlet robes with broad 
facing of deep blue, and scarlet hood with blue 
lining. The cap is the usual Academic " mortar- 
board" with long tassel. When Irving was present 
at the formal opening of the Royal College of 
Music, where all who were entitled to do so wore 
Academic dress, his robes stood out in startling 
prominence. 

Of course, each recipient of a degree received an 
ovation, but there was none so marked as that to 
Irving. He went up with the President of the 
Royal Academy, Sir Frederick (afterwards Lord) 
Leighton and Mr. (now Sir) Lawrence Alma- 
Tadema, R.A., these three being bracketed in the 



246 HENRY IRVING 

agenda of the function. When the conferring of 
degrees was over and the assembly in the Examina- 
tion Hall poured out into the quadrangle, Irving 
was seized by a great body of some hundreds of 
students and carried to the steps of the dining- 
hall opposite, where he was compelled to make a 
speech. 

At the banquet that night there was something 
of a faux pas, which was later much commented 
on. The whole toast list was as follows : 

I. The Queen. 
II. The Prince of Wales. 

III. The Universities. 

IV. Trinity College, Dublin. 

V. Science, Literature and Art. 

The last toast was proposed by the Marquis of 
Dufferin and Ava, and was responded to for Science 
by Lord Kelvin ; for Literature by the Bishop of 
Deny ; and for Art by Sir Frederick Leighton. 
The latter was, of course, quite correct, for the 
President of the Royal Academy is naturally the 
official mouthpiece for the voice of Art in this 
country. The mistake was that, in speaking for 
Art, Sir Frederick limited himself to Painting. He 
spoke in reality for himself and Alma-Tadema, but 
ignored completely the sister Art of Acting, the 
chief exponent of which was a fellow-recipient of 
the honour which he himself had received that day 
and who was present as a guest at the banquet. 
The comments of the press on the omission were 
marked, and the authorities of the University did 
not like the mistake. Leighton evidently heard 
some comment on it, for a few days afterwards he 



THE "REDE" LECTURE 247 


wrote to Irving to explain that he did not think 

he was intended to reply, except for his own Art. 

It was this circumstance that made up Irving' s 
mind to put forward on some suitable occasion the 
claims of his own Art to a place in the general 
category. The opportunity came a little more than 
two years afterwards at the Royal Institution. On 
that occasion he selected for his subject, " Acting : 
an Art " the truth of which he proved logically 
and conclusively. I mention the circumstance here 
as his silence has been misconstrued. I have since 
his death seen it stated that he gave the lecture 
for the purpose of forcing the Crown to give him a 
knighthood a statement silly beyond belief. 



II 

CAMBRIDGE 

The second University to honour the Player was 
Cambridge. The occasion was this : 

He was asked by the Vice-Chancellor, Mr. Hill, 
to give the " Rede " Lecture for 1898. This re- 
quest is, from the antiquity and record of the 
function, in itself an honour. 

The Rede Lecture was delivered at noon in the 
Senate-House of the University on Wednesday, 
I5th June 1898, for the night of which day he had 
closed the Lyceum. Irving had chosen as his 
subject, " The Theatre in its relation to the State." 
Throughout his life he always selected some subject 
connected with his work. His art with him was 



248 HENRY IRVING 

the Alpha and Omega of his endeavour. In this 
case he showed that, though some might regard the 
theatre as a mere pleasure-house, it had in truth a 
much more important use as a place of education. 

" I claim for the theatre that it may be, and 
is, a potent means of teaching great truths 
and furthering the spread of education of the 
higher kind the knowledge of the scope and 
working of human character." 

The lecture was beautifully and earnestly de- 
livered and was received with very great enthusiasm. 
Very picturesque the lecturer looked in the rostrum 
in his Dublin robes. These he exchanged later in 
the day, when he received his Cambridge degree, 
D.Litt. This dress, all scarlet and red with velvet 
hat, looked even more picturesque than that of 
Dublin University. 

That was an exhausting day. A journey from 
St. Pancras at 8.15 A.M. A visit to the Vice-Chan- 
cellor at Downing Lodge, Cambridge. The Public 
Lecture. Luncheon with the Vice-Chancellor in 
Downing Hall, with speech. The Conferring of 
Degree. A Garden Party at King's College. A 
Dinner Party in Hall given by the Master and 
Fellows of Trinit}' College to the Recipients of 
degrees. A Reception in the house of the Master 
of Trinity. And finishing up with a quiet smoke 
among a few friends at the rooms of Dr. Jackson. 

The next morning there was a delightful break- 
fast in the house of Frederick Myers Mrs. Myers, 
formerly Miss Tennant, was an old friend of Irving. 
Lord Dufferin was the youngest of the party, 
despite his seventy-two years. I think the Marquis 



A GLIMPSE OF THE PAST 249 

of Dufferin and Ava had the most winning manner 
of any man I ever met. There was a natural 
sweetness of the heart and an infinite humour from 
the head whose combination was simply irresistible. 
His humour was of enormous and wide-embracing 
range, and touched with illumination whatever 
subject he talked of. He and Irving had much to 
say to each other. The rest who were present 
wished to hear them both ; and so there was 
silence when either spoke. Irving seemed quite 
charmed with Lord Dufferin and gave way to him 
altogether. The picture rises before me of the 
scene in the study of Frederick Myers after break- 
fast, well shown by the wide window opening out 
on the beautiful garden behind the house. Seated 
on the high fender with padded top, with his back 
to the fireplace, sat Lord Dufferin, and round him 
in a close circle the young girls being the closest 
and looking with admiring eyes the whole of the 
rest of the party. His clear, sweet, exquisitely- 
modulated voice seemed to suit the sunshine and 
the universal brightness of the place. Lord 
Dufferin's voice seemed to rise and fall, to quicken 
or come slowly by a sort of selective instinct. It 
struck me as being naturally one of the most 
expressive voices I had ever heard. 

That night Irving played The Medicine Man at 
the Lyceum, and I thought I detected here and 
there a trace of the influence of Lord Dufferin in 
the more winning passages of the play. 



250 HENRY IRVING 

III 

GLASGOW 

Irving now held University degrees from Ireland 
and England. The Scottish degree came in another 
year. For a long time Professor Herbert Story, 
D.D., LL.D., the Professor of Ecclesiastical History 
of the University of Glasgow, had a very high 
opinion of Henry Irving and of the good work 
which he had done for education and for humanity. 
I remember well a talk which Dr. Story had with 
me in his study after I had lunched with him on 
26th June 1896. Incidentally he mentioned that 
he thought his University should give Irving a 
degree. Two years after, 22nd October 1898, he 
told me that it was in contemplation to carry this 
out in the following year. In that year Professor 
Story was presented by the Queen to the Principal- 
ship of the University on the resignation of Dr. 
Caird from that high position. On the 20 th July 
1899, the honour was actually completed when 
Irving was invested with his degree of LL.D. 

That was, I think, the only honourable occasion 
of Irving's life since 1878 at which I was not present. 
But it was quite impossible ; I was then in bed with 
a bad attack of pneumonia. I had been looking 
forward to the occasion, for Principal Story and 
his wife and daughters were friends of mine as well 
as of Irving. It was the only occasion at which 
in twenty-seven years I was not present when 
honour was done to him. I read, however, of the 
heartiness of his reception, both in the Bute Hall, 
where the degrees were conferred, and by the great 



A HIGH TRIBUTE 251 

mass of the students without. In his speech in- 
troducing him Professor Glaister said : 

" Sir Henry living's name stands as a synonym 
for the best and highest in dramatic art. . . . He 
has acquired an unrivalled fame in this country and 
in America. His fidelity to the best traditions of 
the stage, and his exclusion from his repertory of all 
that is vulgar or prurient, have been recognised as 
influences which elevate and purify dramatic art, and 
which have made the Theatre a powerful agent in 
promoting the general taste and culture of the people. 
His consummate stage management, his constant 
interest in the cause of charity and in the progress 
of education, his high character, his writings upon 
and his supremacy in his own profession have been 
already acknowledged by many marks of royal, 
academic, and popular favour. . . . This University 
desires that you will confer upon him in this degree 
its mark of appreciation of his valuable services." 

In his reply, amongst other things Irving said : 

" Nearly forty years ago I played in Glasgow. 
An ambitious lad I was then. Most young 
players have their heads in the clouds, but 
upon no cloud did my aspiring eye ever in its 
finest frenzy perceive the Senate of Glasgow 
University sitting for the purpose of crowning 
my career with academic honours. Had such 
a vision been vouchsafed to me I should have 
felt that my opportunities of scholarship in 
early life made a University degree an ironical 
chimera. . . . Standing up before you to-day 
I am most keenly conscious of the honour you 
have done to the art which has had the faithful 
service of my life. . . . To-day's incidents, so 
far as they concern myself as a representative 



252 HENRY IRVING 

of the stage in your midst, are luminous with 
more liberal ideas ; for this reason above all I 
am grateful to Professor Story for his eloquent 
acknowledgment that the drama and its inter- 
preters have their share of the humanities which 
it is the aim of the highest culture to sustain." 



IV 

OXFORD 

On Sunday, 7th March 1886, Irving and I went 
to Oxford to stay with W. L. Courtney, then a Don 
of New College. For some years the two men had 
been close friends and Courtney whenever he was 
in London, would come to supper in the Beefsteak 
Room. This Oxford visit was arranged for some 
time, for Courtney was anxious to have Irvine meet 
some of the Heads of Colleges. The dinner was 
naturally a formal one, for in Oxford a very strict 
order of procedure rules. The Vice-Chancellor of 
the University Dr. Jowett, Master of Balliol College 
was there ; also the Master of University, the 
President of Magdalen, and the Warden of Merton, 
the last three with their wives. Professor Max 
Miiller was also a guest, his wife and daughter com- 
pleted the party of fourteen. Jowett was in great 
form that evening. He was always a good and 
original talker, but he seemed on that evening to 
be on his mettle. During dinner one of the ladies 
sounded to Irving the praises of the Ober-Ammergau 
play, its fine effects, its deep moral teaching, and 
so forth. Irving listened attentively, and presently 
said quietly : 



"WHY NOT?" 253 

"It is so good they ought to bring it to the 
Crystal Palace." The lady was quite shocked, and 
turning to the Vice-Chancellor said : 

" Oh, Mr. Vice-Chancellor, do you hear what 
Mr. Irving says, ' That the Ober-Ammergau play 
should be brought to the Crystal Palace ! ' The 
pause round the table was marked. All wanted 
eagerly to hear what the Vice-Chancellor, who in 
those days ruled Oxford, would say to such a 
startling proposition. His answer startled them 
afresh when it came : 

" Why not ! " 

The result of the rapprochement which Courtney 
had so kindly effected was that Irving was asked 
to give an Address at the University. He, of course, 
assented to the honourable request, and the date 
was fixed for Saturday, 26th June. The subject 
which he chose for the discourse was, " English 
Actors : their Characteristics and their Methods." 

Irving and I with a couple of friends left Padding- 
ton on that day at six o'clock. On arriving at 
Oxford he and I went at once with W. L. Courtney, 
who had met us at the station, to the New Examina- 
tion Hall, where the Address was to be given. Irving 
always liked to see beforehand the place in which 
he was to act or to speak ; a very valuable pre- 
caution, for experience enabled him when he knew 
something of the dimensions and conditions of the 
place to pitch his voice from the very start in the 
proper key. From there we drove to Balliol, where 
we were staying with the Master. At half-past 
nine o'clock we went to the hall with the Master. 
In the party were the Earl and Countess of Dal- 
housie and the Bishop of Ripon and Mrs. Boyd- 



254 HENRY IRVING 

Carpenter, who with others were guests at his 
house. The great hall was crowded to suffocation 
with an immense audience, and the reception was 
warm in the extreme. Had I not known it before 
I could have told that the undergraduate lungs 
were in excellent condition. The discourse was 
received with rapt attention pointed with applause ; 
and the conclusion was followed by a salvo of 
cheers. Then came the presentation of an Address, 
made by the Vice-Chancellor in a delightful, care- 
fully worded speech. Amongst other things Dr. 
Jowett said : 

" I express . . . our admiration of him for the 
great services which he has rendered to the world and 
to society by improving and elevating the stage. . . . 
The life of the great actor is not so bright and pleasant 
as some of us imagine. ... He has his times of 
depression too, and more than ordinary share of the 
troubles of human life. There is the fierce light of 
criticism which is always beating upon him ; he has 
to be above his audience, yet he must also feel with 
them." 

Then after explaining the views of Plato on whose 
work he was so supreme an authority, regarding 
the rhapsodist, and of Socrates on the same subject, 
he went on, following up the views of the latter 
with regard to the good company he kept : 

" And so of a great English actor we too might 
say that he lives in the best society, the society of 
Shakespeare and Goethe, and is a far better inter- 
preter of them than a thousand commentators, for 
he thinks and feels with them and studies them not 
out of a book only ; they are his personal friends, 
and his highest ambition is to render back to the 
world as a living fire the thoughts which they long 



JOWETT ON IRVING 255 

ago conceived. For things which we hear with our 
ears^and see with our eyes make a far deeper impres- 
sion on us than what we read. And the drama is the 
only form of literature which is not dead, but alive, 
and is always being brought to life again and again 
by the genius of the actor. . . . The indirect influence 
of the theatre is very great, and tends to permeate all 
classes of society, so that the condition of the stage 
is not a bad index or test of a nation's character. 
We in England are in part what we have been made 
by the plays of Shakespeare. Our literature, our 
manners, our religion, our taste have to a very great 
extent been affected by them. And those who, regard- 
less of their own pecuniary loss or gain, have brought 
back Shakespeare to the English stage, who have 
restored his plays to their original form, who have 
quickened in the English people the love of his writings 
and the feelings of his greatness may be truly con- 
sidered national benefactors." 

Surely a noble tribute this from a man of such 
personal and official distinction to the worth of 
the drama, the stage, and the great actor to whom 
his praise was given. 

That night we supped with Courtney in the 
Common Room of New College. Alfred Austin, 
afterwards the Poet Laureate, was amongst those 
present. He and Irving had much conversation 
about a play, Savonarola, which the former had 
written some time before. 

The next day, Commemoration Sunday, we all 
attended with the Vice-Chancellor at St. Mary's 
Church, where the Bishop of Ripon preached a 
remarkable sermon on the theme of Moses and 
the Burning Bush, which he applied with extra- 
ordinary dexterity to the political position. 

The dinner party that night at the Vice-Chan- 



256 HENRY IRVING 

cellor's was a large one, and its arrangement the 
supreme of topsy-turveydom with regard to pre- 
cedence. As the chief guest had no official rank 
in a community where all was governed by hard- 
and-fast rules of procedure, all law of precedence 
was foregone. The only bishop of the party was 
assigned to the woman in the room of no official 
status. The only royal guest of the party, a 
grandson of the Queen, was not given a lady at 
all. And so throughout. Irving sat next to Lady 
Dalhousie, then in the full tide of her magnificent 
beauty. I shall never forget the appearance which 
those two presented. She in a dress of rich silk 
of the colour then in vogue which was known as 
sang-de-b&uf ; this with splendid old Point de Vdnise 
made a fitting shrine for so much loveliness. He 
so handsome and so dignified looking, with grave, 
intellectual, refined features and mobile grace of 
expression. That dinner was in every way de- 
lightful ; after it we all went over to a concert 
in the hall. The Vice-Chancellor had originated 
Sunday night concerts, which were immensely 
popular. 

Breakfast next morning was another pleasant 
function, at which all the house-party were present. 
The " Master," as Dr. Jowett was called, was in 
great form. I remember his quoting a remark of 
Tennyson's : 

" I would rather get six months than put two S'S 
together in verse ! " 

Irving and I, and my wife, who had been staying 
with the Courtneys for Commemoration, and who 
had with them attended all the functions of the 



"THE CHARACTER OF MACBETH" 257 

Vice-Chancellor, went up to town with the Dal- 
housies. We little thought that we should never 
see either of them again. About a year after- 
wards she died of fever, and he who loved her 
to distraction could not bear his great loss and 
shot himself. 



VICTORIA UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER 

In 1894 Manchester had no University exclusively 
its own. Its College, Owens College, was chartered 
by the Queen in 1880 and it was afterwards grouped 
with the Colleges of Liverpool and Leeds in the 
Victoria University. It was not till 1904 that it 
became a University by itself. 

Before the time of visiting Manchester, on his 
tour of 1894, Irving was asked to give a lecture 
to the Owens College Literary Society. To this 
he acceded, and chose as his subject " The Char- 
acter of Macbeth." 

His reason for the choice was that he had wished 
to make, under important conditions, a reply to 
some of the criticisms with which he had been 
assailed on his re-production of Shakespeare's play 
in 1888, but a suitable opportunity had not up to 
now appeared. Some of these criticisms had been 
ridiculous, some puerile, some even infantile. I 
remember Irving telling me that one ingenuous 
gentleman had gone so far as to suggest that the 
Messenger who in Scene 5, Act I. announces to Lady 
Macbeth the coming of the King, should have a 

II R 



2 5 8 HENRY IRVING 

bad cold, his contention having been that Lady 
Macbeth says in her soliloquy : 

" The raven himself is hoarse 
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan 
Under my battlements." 

The delay in his answer to the various feeble or 
foolish things spoken of his work did not detract 
from its power. His reasoning on the character 
from the text and from a study of the authorities 
which Shakespeare had evidently had before him 
when he wrote, was absolutely masterly. I venture 
to say that no student of the play can form any 
kind of correct estimate of Macbeth's character 
without reading it. 

The lecture was given on the afternoon of 
Tuesday, nth December, in the Chemical Theatre, 
the largest hall then appertaining to the College 
and holding some eight hundred persons. That 
the student element manifested itself in no un- 
certain way is shown by the note in my diary : 

" H. I. got enormous reception. Cheers were start- 
ling ! On leaving, students wanted to take out horses 
and draw carriage, but wiser counsels prevailed." 

Ellen Terry and Genevieve Ward were both of 
our little party on the occasion. 



VI 

HARVARD 
I 

Irving gave addresses at Harvard on two sepa- 
rate occasions. 

The first was on 3Oth March 1885, on which 



"THE ART OF ACTING" 259 

occasion he took as his subject " The Art of 
Acting." 

We were then playing in New York, but as Irving 
had promised to come to Boston for the occasion, 
we left on Sunday afternoon. Several friends came 
with us, amongst whom were William Winter, of 
the New York Tribune, and Mr. Dorsheimer, ex- 
Governor of New York State. The train, on which 
we had a special carriage, was met at Worcester 
by a deputation of Harvard students, who travelled 
back with us to Boston. The address was given 
on the Monday evening, 3Oth, in the Sanders 
Theatre, a beautifully proportioned hall of octagon 
shape, which though looking not large yet held 
on that occasion over two thousand people. The 
crowd was so great at the doors both inside and 
outside that when we arrived at half-past seven 
we could not get in. Finally we had to be taken 
in through the trap-door to the coal cellar, from 
which by devious ways we were escorted to the plat- 
form. The Address went well. My note says : 

" Went well. H. I. looked very distinguished." 

That was in reality a mild putting of the fact. 
Distinguished was hardly an adequate adjective. 
Even from that sea of fine intellectual heads his 
noble face shone out like a star. 

We were all to sup with the President of the 
College, Mr. Elliot ; but when the time of departure 
came we could not find Winter. We searched for 
him high and low, but without avail. As a large 
party was waiting at the President's house we had 
to make up our minds to go without him. I had, 
however, one more last look and found him. He 



260 HENRY IRVING 

was in the coal cellar, which was about the only 
quiet place in the building. He sat on a heap of 
coal ; on the ground beside him was a lighted 
candle stuck in the neck of a bottle which he had 
somehow requisitioned. When I came upon him 
he was writing furiously if so rude a word may be 
applied to an art so gentle. He glanced up when 
I spoke with an appealing look and, with raised 
hand, said with passionate entreaty : 

" Bram, for God's sake ! " I understood, and 
left him, having secured from a local fireman the 
promise of unfaltering obedience to my instruc- 
tions to wait and take him to the carriage which 
we left for him. I also left a telegraph messenger 
on guard, for I saw that he was writing on tele- 
graph " flimsy." 

Any one who will take the trouble to look up 
the file of the New York Tribune of the following 
day March 31, 1885 will read as fine a piece of 
descriptive criticism as can well be. I hope that 
such an one when he finishes the article will spare 
time for a glance, from the eye of imagination, at 
the silent figure phrasing it in the gloom of the 
coal cellar. 

II 

Irving's second Address at Harvard was nine 
years later. On that occasion his subject was : 
" The Value of Individuality," and the Address 
was given in the afternoon, the place being the 
same, the Sanders Theatre. There was again a 
great audience and a repetition of the old 
enthusiasm. 

That night the Tremont Theatre in Boston, where 
we were playing, saw an occasion unique to the 



A SENSITIVE "SUPER" 261 

place, though not to the actor. The University 
had proclaimed a " Harvard Night/' and the house 
was packed with College men, from President to 
jib. At the end of the performance Nance Old- 
field and The Bells the students presented to Irving 
a gold medal commemorative of the occasion. 

I may perhaps, before leaving the subject of 
Harvard University, mention a somewhat startling 
circumstance. It had become a custom during our 
visit to Boston for a lot of Harvard students to 
act as " supers " in our plays. There seemed to be 
a brisk demand for opportunities and the local 
super master grew rich on options. When we 
played King Arthur in 1895 there were many of 
these gentlemen who wore armour the beautiful 
armour designed by Burne- Jones. The biggest of 
the men available were chosen for this service, and 
there were certainly some splendidly stalwart young 
men amongst them. A few of them got " sky- 
larking " amongst themselves on the stage before 
the curtain went up. Sky-larking in full armour 
is a hazardous thing both to oneself and to others, 
and a blow struck in fun with the unaccustomed 
weight of plate armour behind it had an unex- 
pected result, for the stricken man was knocked 
head over heels senseless just as Irving had come 
on to the stage to see that all was correct for the 
coming scene " The Great Hall of Camelot." He 
reprimanded the super shortly and told him that 
if he undertook duties he should respect them, and 
himself, in performing them gravely. Imagine his 
surprise when in the morning he received a belli- 
cose cartel from the offended young man challenging 
him to mortal combat. Irving, who took all things 



262 HENRY IRVING 

as they were meant, understood that the man was 
a gentleman who considered himself wronged and 
wrote him a pleasant letter in which he explained 
the necessity of taking gravely the work which 
others considered grave. The young man was a 
gentleman in my intercourse with them I have 
always found Americans to be so and wrote a 
handsome letter of apology for his misconduct on 
the stage and explained that he had had no in- 
tention of either breaking rules or hurting any 
one else. 

And so on that occasion no blood was shed. 



VII 
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY 

Owens College, Manchester, blossoming into Man- 
chester University, had a parallel in the growth of 
Columbia University, New York. In 1895 when, 
at the request of its President, Seth Low, Irving 
delivered the address on " Macbeth," which he had 
delivered in Manchester, it was still merely a College 
though the matter of its coming development was 
then at hand. Before our next visit to America in 
1899 the whole new University of Columbia had 
been built and equipped. On I4th November 1899 
I was taken all over it by President Low, and 
was amazed to see what had been done within 
the four years. The great Library, which the 
President had himself built and presented, was a 
magnificent centre for so fine and thoughtfully-con- 
ceived a piece of work. 

Irving' s address was given in the Library, the 



FROM SHOW-GROUND TO UNIVERSITY 263 

largest hall in the old building, which had been 
somewhat dismantled for the purpose. It held 
some fifteen hundred persons. The occasion was 
Irving's first experience of the New York College 
cry, which has a startling effect when enunciated 
in unison by a thousand lusty throats. When he 
entered the Library with the President, who took 
in Ellen Terry, the cheering began and soon formu- 
lated itself into this special concourse of sounds. 
At the close of the address, which went extremely 
well, the enthusiastic cheering was repeated. And 
again Ellen Terry had her special share of it. 



VIII 

CHICAGO UNIVERSITY 

Irving addressed the University of Chicago twice. 

The first was on iyth March 1896, when he re- 
peated his lecture on " Macbeth." The second on 
April 25, 1900, when he repeated the lecture which 
he had given in 1895 at the Royal Institution : 
" Acting : an Art." Both addresses were given 
in the Kent Hall which was on each occasion 
crowded to excess. 

The University of Chicago might well be taken 
as an illustration of the rapid growth possible in 
America. In the fall of 1893 the ground on which 
it stands was a section of the World's Fair, what 
was called " The Midway Pleasaunce." In the 
spring of 1896, less than two years and a half, the 
University was built, organised and furnished with 
students to its full capacity. 



264 HENRY IRVING 

IX 

PRINCETON UNIVERSITY 

The last address which Irving gave in America 
was at Princeton University, where on March 19, 
1902, he read a paper on the subject of " Shakes- 
peare and Bacon/' an eloquent and logical defence 
of Shakespeare against his detractors. 



X 

LEARNED BODIES AND INSTITUTIONS 

The following is a list of various addresses given 
by Irving at Institutions and before learned Bodies 
other than Universities : 

" The Stage." Perry Bar Institute, near Birmingham, 
6th March 1878." 

" The Stage as it is." Philosophical Institute, Edinburgh, 
8th November 1881. 

" Shakespeare and Goethe." Goethe Society, New York, 
I5th March 1888. (Given at Madison Square Theatre.) 

" Hamlet." Literary and Scientific Institute, Wolver- 
hampton, igth February 1890. (This was given at 
the Agricultural Hall.) 

" The Art of Acting." Philosophical Institute, Edinburgh, 
gth November 1891. (This was given in the Music 
Hall.) 

" Shakespeare as a Playwright." Twentieth Century Club, 
Chicago, 2nd November 1893. (Given in the private 
theatre in the house of Mr. George Pullman.) 

" Municipal Theatres." Literary Institute, Walsall, 26th 
September, 1894. (Given in the Grand Theatre.) 



VARIOUS ADDRESSES 265 

" Acting : an Art." Royal Institution, London, ist 
February 1895. 

" Macbeth." Contemporary Club, Philadelphia, I7th April 
1896 (given at the New Art Gallery). Also at the 
Catholic Social Union, London, i7th May 1898 (given 
at the house of Cardinal Vaughari). 

" Actors and Acting." Liberal Club, Buffalo, 4th February 
1902. 



LXXI 



ADVENTURES 

Over a mine-bed Fires: Edinburgh Hotel; Alhambra, 
London; Star Theatre, New York; Lyceum How theatre 
fires are put out Union Square Theatre, New York 
" Fussy " safe Floods Bayou Pierre How to get 
supper On the Pan Handle Train Accidents: Explo- 
sions ; " Frosted " wheel ; A lost driver Storms at sea 
A reason for laughter Falling scenery No fear of death 
Master of himself 



OVER A MINE BED 

ON Qth August 1880 Irving and I went for a short 
holiday together. The heat in London was very 
great. We began at Southsea, where we stopped 
at the Pier Hotel ; that evening after dinner in 
the afternoon we got a lug-sail boat and went over 
to Ryde, returning by moonlight. The next day 
we walked on the Esplanade. Southsea was very 
full, and along the sea front a vast crowd of people 
moved in endless procession. Every one seemed 
to know my companion, and he became surrounded 
with a crowd which, though the composing indi- 
viduals changed, never left him. At last he got 
tired of shaking hands and answering endless 
commonplace questions. In a momentary pause 
he said to me : 



A STARTLING EXPERIENCE 267 

" I can't stand any more of this. Let's get a 
boat and have a sail. We can get quiet that way 
anyhow ! " 

We went down on the beach and picked out 
a likely looking boat that was ready launched. 
The boatman was very deaf, but as he seemed also 
dumb we regarded him as a find. He hoisted his 
sail and we began to steal away from shore. Be- 
hind us was a lot of shouting, and many people 
ran down on the beach gesticulating and calling 
out. We could not distinguish what they said ; 
but we were both so accustomed to hear people 
shouting at Irving that we took it that the present 
was but another instance of clamorous goodwill. 

We had got away from shore about half a 
mile when suddenly there was a terrific sound 
close to us, and the boat was thrown about 
just as a rat is shaken by a dog. A column of 
water rose some thirty yards from us and for quite 
half a minute the sea round us seemed to boil. 
The old boatman seemed very much frightened and 
found his voice to the extent of ejaculations of a 
prayerful kind, mingled with blasphemy. There 
seemed some excuse for him, for it was certainly 
very terrifying. To us, who did not understand, it 
seemed like an earthquake, or a volcanic eruption 
of some kind. Irving, however, was quite calm ; he 
did not seem put out at all. The only motion he 
made was to put on his pince-nez which had been 
shaken off. I am not as a rule very timorous 
myself. 

As the sea began to resume its normal calm it 
presented a strange appearance. All around us 
were strewn floating fish, mostly belly up, the white 



268 HENRY IRVING 

catching the eye everywhere. There were scores- 
hundreds of them, all seemingly dead. We lifted 
a lot of them into the boat. A few did not move 
at all, but after a while most of them began to 
wriggle and flop about. These had only been 
stunned. 

We had after the first surprise taken it for granted 
that the shock had been from some sub-marine 
explosion ; but we were content to await develop- 
ments. When the boatman began to get over his 
agitation he enlightened us : 

" 'Tis they torpedoes ; they've fired 'em by wire 
from Fort Monckton. 'Tis silly I am not to have 
thought on 'em an* kept out of the way ! " Then 
he explained that the event of the day was to be 
an attack on Fort Monckton the low-lying fort 
which guards the mouth of the harbour of Ports- 
mouth by the Glatton, then the most up-to-date 
of our scientifically equipped ships. We appeared 
to have come right over the mine-bed. The prudent 
fisherman had by this time put his boat's head 
against such wind as there was and began to 
gather up the unforeseen harvest of the sea. He 
was intent on this, though his hands shook and 
he kept looking around him apprehensively. We 
drifted with the tide. Presently a little distance in 
front of us another mine went off, and our friend 
got agitated afresh. He implored us to come away, 
and began to slack the sheet which he had drawn 
tight. Irving had lit a cigar and was calmly 
smoking. He had evidently taken a common- 
sense view of the situation. 

" Why should we come away ? We are, I take 
it, in about as safe a place as can be. The mines 



SEARCH-LIGHTS 269 

here have been fired and we don't know where the 
others are. If we go on, no matter in what 
direction, we shall probably come across another 
explosion. Let us stay where we are and enjoy 
ourselves ! " And stay we did and enjoyed to a 
certain extent the thunder of the cannon which 
later on, when the attack developed, rolled over 
the water and was brought to our ears, we being 
so close to the surface, in a way to make us feel 
as if each fresh explosion was close at hand. 

I think, however, that we both enjoyed the attack 
more that night when the actual sham battle was 
fought. In those days search-lights were new and 
rare. Both the Glatton and Fort Monckton were well 
equipped with them, and during the attack the whole 
sea and sky and shore were perpetually swept with 
the powerful rays. It was in its way a noble fight, 
and as then most people were ignorant of the 
practical working of the new scientific appliances 
of war, it was instructive as well as fascinating. 
We, who had been out in the middle of it during 
the day, could perhaps appreciate its possibilities 
better than ordinary civil folk unused to the forces 
and horrors of war ! 



II 

FIRES 

a 

The first fire of which Irving and I were spectators 
together was in November 1881. We were playing 
at Edinburgh and stayed in the old Edinburgh 



270 HENRY IRVING 

Hotel opposite the Scott Memorial. The house was 
pulled down long since. The hotel was made up 
of several houses thrown into one, and was of the 
ramshackle order. It would have been easily set 
on fire ; and had it got well alight nothing could 
have saved it. 

Loveday and I supped with Irving in his sitting- 
room on the second storey, and after supper were 
enjoying our smoke. It was then late for Edin- 
burgh, nearly one o'clock. As we sat we heard a 
queer kind of roaring and crackling sound in the 
passage outside. 

" That sounds like a fire ! " I said, and ran out 
to see if I could help. In the passage a curious 
scene presented itself. A sort of housemaid's closet 
in the back wall was well alight ; the flames were 
roaring. The night porter, when collecting the boots, 
had seen it and was now trying to put it out. 
He was in a really dangerous position, and was 
behaving very bravely. I ran up to my room just 
overhead and brought down two great jugs of water 
which were on my wash-hand stand. When I got 
down a tall man was standing near the closet and 
talking very angrily to the porter. He was attired 
in a long white night shirt under which his bare 
feet and legs displayed themselves. He was not 
making the least effort to help, but kept on abusing 
the man who was working. Considering that the 
chances were that in a few minutes the whole hotel 
would be on fire, with what awful result none 
could foresee, it was strange conduct. In the 
midst of the hurry, for by this time we were all 
doing what we could, I had to laugh at the absurd 
situation and his out-of-place blaming : 



SELF-CONCEIT AND BARE LEGS 271 

' This is a pretty nice sort of thing for a gentle- 
man staying in your damned hotel to have to 
endure ! Do you always do this sort of thing, sir ? 
Nice thing indeed ! A gentleman to be waked up 
out of his bed by your infernal stupidity in setting 
the house on fire. Are we all to be burned in our 
beds ? Nice sort of conduct indeed ! Edinburgh 
should be ashamed of itself ! " Irving and Loveday 
and I were all hard at work but were doing little 
good. The porter who knew the place was trying 
to get at the water tap within. He succeeded at 
last, and when a jet of water could be used in that 
narrow space the fire was soon held in check. We 
stood for a while to admire the angry stranger, 
still " jawing " away at the porter, who took not 
the least notice of him. By this time the other 
guests were alarmed and came running out of their 
rooms in various stages of night gear and partial 
dressing, till the passage was thronged with 
frightened women and men full of inquiries. 

When we went back to the room to finish our 
smoke we left them all there. The unclad stranger 
was in the midst, still in a sublime state of indiffer- 
ence to decorum, haranguing at what or whom he did 
not seem to know, for the porter had gone. In the 
room Irving said, as he cut the end of a fresh cigar : 

" I wish I had that fellow's self-conceit or even 
a bit of it. With it I could do anything ! " 

b 

The next fire we were at was on 6th December 
1882. We had supped together in the Lyceum after 
the play and were leaving tolerably early. We 
were going out by the private door in Burleigh 



272 HENRY IRVING 

Street, when there came a sudden red glare in 
front of us a little to the right, or north, just as 
we were crossing the side-walk to the cab. In 
those days he always used a four-wheeler ; he did 
not have a brougham till twelve or thirteen years 
later and then it was a hired one. 

" Hullo ! " said Irving, " there is a fire ! It 
seems pretty close too. I suppose you're off ! " 
It was a standing joke with him against me that 
whenever there was a fire within range I was off 
to it hot-foot. I ran back to my office to put on 
a heavier pair of shoes attending a fire is wet 
work and evening shoes are not fit for it. I was 
just putting them on when a vehicle stopped 
hurriedly at the door and there was a loud rapping. 
I ran out Irving was back. 

" Come quick," he said, " don't wait to change. 
It's the Alhambra." We jumped into the cab and 
the man drove for all he was worth. We got into 
Leicester Square just as the police were clearing 
the place and forming a cordon. All the Bow 
Street men knew us both and they hurried us into 
a doorway just where the Empire Music Hall is 
now. From there we had a splendid view, the place 
all to ourselves. 

The fire had made quick headway and as we 
got to our place the whole theatre seemed alight 
within, and the flames burst out of the windows. 
The Fire Brigade got to work quick ; but when a 
building of that size and with so large an interior 
gets alight there is no checking it. The only thing 
that can be done with any prospect of success is 
to try to prevent it spreading. Within a time 
which seemed incredibly short the roof began to 



A FIRE ON THE STAGE 273 

send up sparks and flames, and then all at once it 
seemed to be lifted and to send up a fiery column 
of flames and sparks and smoke and burning ashes, 
which a few seconds later began to fall round us 
like rain. There was a terrific crash, and more 
leaping and towering flames. And then the roof 
fell in. 

It was a magnificent, if costly, sight. Fortu- 
nately no one was killed or even injured. One of 
the firemen had his wife and baby at the top of 
the theatre, I was told ; and that it was the delay 
in saving them that made the warning to the 
Brigade later than it might have been. 

After the fall of the roof, the rest was detail. 
We waited an hour or so and then came away. 



At the next fire we were not together. Irving 
was on the stage of the Star Theatre, New York, 
and I happened to be standing at the back of 
the parquet near the. aisle which in all American 
theatres runs straight back from the orchestra rail. 
The occasion was the first night of Irving' s playing 
Hamlet in New York, and the house was crowded 
to excess in every part. The play went well ; 
incidentally I may say that it was an enormous 
success. All went well till the " play scene." The 
light for the mimic stage was supposed to be given 
from the attendants ranged on each side carrying 
torches. These torches were of spirit, as such give 
leaping flames which are picturesque and appear to 
give good light, though in truth their illuminating 
quality is small. Early in the scene one of these 
torches got overheated, and the flaming spirit 

II S 



274 HENRY IRVING 

running over set fire to one of the stage draperies. 
The super-master, Marion, who was " on " in the 
scene, at once ran over and tore down the curtain 
and tramped it out. 

Through it all Irving never hesitated or faltered 
for an instant. He went on with his speech ; no 
one could take it from movement, expression or 
intonation that there was any cause for concern. 

Still a fire in a theatre has very dreadful pos- 
sibilities ; and at the first sign of flame a number 
of people rose hurriedly in their seats as if pre- 
paratory to rushing out. There was all over the 
house a quick, quiet whisper : 

" Sit down ! " As if in obedience, the standers 
sat. 

There was but one exception. A lanky, tallow- 
faced, herring-shouldered, young man, with fear in 
his white face, dashed up the aisle. It is such 
persons who cause death in such circumstances. 
There is a moment when panic can be averted ; 
but once it starts nothing can stop it. The idea 
of " Sauve qui peut ! " comes from the most selfish 
as well as the most weak of human instincts. I 
feared that this man might cause a panic, and as 
he dashed up I stepped out and caught him by 
the throat and hurled him back on the ground. 
At such a time one must not think of consequences, 
except one, which is to prevent a holocaust. The 
rude, elementary method was effective. No one 
else stirred. I caught the fallen man and dragged 
him to his feet. 

" Go back to your seat, sir ! " I said sternly. 
"It is cowards like you who cause death to help- 
less women ! " He was so stunned or frightened 




W 



o i 
> I* 

OS ^ 



I 

is 



CONTEMPT FOR A COWARD 275 

that he did not make the least remonstrance, but 
went sheepishly back to his seat. 

On the way he had to pass a man who stood a 
little in front of me a tall, powerful, black-bearded, 
masterful-looking man. As the other was passing 
he put out his hand, and with finger and thumb 
caught the lappet of the young man's coat and 
drew him close. Then he said in a low voice, full 
of personal indignation as at a wrong to himself : 

" Do you know that you rushed past me like a 
flash of lightning ! " Then he suddenly released 
him and turned his eyes to the stage. I think it 
was the most contemptuous expression I ever saw. 
The rest of those present moved no more. It left 
me with a very firm impression that no one need 
fear for the courage and self-restraint of an Ameri- 
can audience. 



Two years after we had at the Lyceum a some- 
what similar experience of a stage fire. This was 
during Faust. A curtain caught fire, and was 
promptly put out by the nearest person. Another 
such fire occurred in 1891 in The Corsican Brothers. 

Stage fires generally have very small beginnings, 
and if they are taken in time are hardly dangerous. 
At a Theatres Parliamentary Commission the Hon. 
Sir Spencer Ponsonby-Fane, then and for a great 
number of years thfe permanent official in the 
Lord Chamberlain's department, to whom was en- 
trusted the supervision of London theatres, was 
asked by a Committee man : 

" How are fires in theatres usually put out ? " 
His answer was sufficiently explanatory : 



276 HENRY IRVING 

' With the carpenter's cap ! " When a flame is 
small it can be smothered in an instant. 

It is a reassuring fact that during the last century 
hardly a life was lost by fire in a London theatre. 
Indeed there were even very few injuries. I re- 
member one exception which occurred at a panic 
arising, as it turned out, without cause at the 
Grecian Theatre some twenty years ago. On this 
occasion the audience did not lose their heads, but 
they began to move out quickly. There was one 
old gentleman who would not join in the movement. 
He said he had always heard that in case of a fire 
in the theatre the best thing any one of the 
audience could do was to remain quietly in his 
seat, and that he did not intend to stir. As it 
turned out he was the only person injured. He 
was sitting at the end of a row in the Pit close to 
the doorway ; and as he would not stir, the rest of 
the audience simply walked over him ! 

Coolness and theory are most excellent qualities 
in life. But even they can be exaggerated or out 
of place ! 

e 

There was one other fire which had a bearing 
on Irving' s interests though he was not in it or 
near it. This was the burning of the Union Square 
Theatre, New York, on the 28th February 1888. 
This theatre backed on to the side of the Star 
Theatre where we were playing. The Morton 
House beside it, at the corner of Broadway and 
Union Square, caught fire. The theatre was quite 
burned out. When I saw it, which was quite by 
chance, it was well alight. I had been paying 
visits with my wife, and was in orthodox frock coat 



A FIRE-MASTER 277 

and silk hat. There was a great crowd held back 
by the cordon of police. I managed to pass the 
guard, as I was concerned in the Star Theatre, and 
inside saw the Fire Chief of that section the 
Thirteenth Street. He and I had become great 
friends in the process of years. The American fire- 
men are born to their work and they are all splendid 
fellows. If they like you they drop the " Mr." at 
once ; and when they call you by your Christian 
name that is, in their own way, the highest honour 
they can pay you. I was " Bram " to Chief 
Bresnin and his men. He said to me : 

" Would you like to come into the theatre ? It 
may be of use to you some day to know what a 
theatre is like inside when it is burning ! " I 
acquiesced eagerly, and we hurried to the stage 
entrance. A policeman stood there, and when I 
went to pass in barred the way. The Fire Chief 
was surprised. "He is with me ! " he said. The 
other answered gruffly : 

' You can go in, of course ; but I won't let him ! 
It's murder to let him go in there ! " The chief 
was speechless with indignation. From his point 
of view it was a gross affront to question any 
direction of his. By New York rules the Fire Chief 
takes absolute command, and the police have to 
obey his orders. Bresnin threw back the lappel of 
his uniform coat and showed his badge as Fire Chief. 

" Do you see that ? " he asked. The other 
answered surlily : 

" I see it ! " 

' Then if you say one word even to apologise 
for your insolence I shall have you broke ! Stand 
back ! Come on, Bram ! " 



278 HENRY IRVING 

I wanted to go on. But even if I had wished to 
hang back, I could not do so then. In we went. 

The place was a veritable hell. It seemed to be 
alight in every part; the roaring of the flames 
was terrific. The streams of water from some 
twenty fire-engines seemed to be having no effect 
at all, they did not make even steam, but seemed 
to simply dry up. The heat was of course very 
great, but as the draught was coming behind us 
we did not feel it much. It seemed to be all over- 
head. I was made aware of it by my silk hat 
collapsing over my eyes, like a big tam-o'-shanter. 
The whole place seemed moving and tumbling 
about ; great beams were falling, and brick work 
rattled down like gigantic hail. We stood on the 
stage. Here my own special knowledge of the 
safest place supplemented the fireman's general 
experience. It was by no means safe. Within a 
minute a huge beam, all ablaze, came thundering 
down not far from us and drove end on right 
through the stage like a bullet through a sheet of 
paper. We kept an eye on the door close to us, 
and when things got perilous we came away. 

I went back to the Brunswick Hotel where Irving 
and I were both staying. I sent for his man, 
Walter, to tell him if the " Governor " had been 
alarmed he had better go into his room where he 
was having his regular afternoon nap and tell him 
that as yet the Star Theatre was all right, and 
would probably escape as the ruins of the other 
theatre were falling and the firemen would be able 
to deal with them. I had just come from it. He 
answered me : 

"It's all right, sir ! The Governor knows about 



BAYOU PIERRE 279 

the fire. Some one here went up and woke him 
and told him that the Star was on fire ! So he 
sent for me." 

" What did he say ? " I asked. He grinned as 
he replied : 

" He said : ' Is Fussy safe, Walter ? ' So when 
I told him the dog had been with me all the time, 
he said ' All right ! ' and went to sleep again ! " 



III 

FLOODS 
a 

On Saturday night, ist February 1896, we played 
in New Orleans, and as we were to play in Memphis 
on Monday, arranged that our " special " should leave 
as soon as possible after the play. We had all 
ready for a quick start, and so far as our part was 
concerned had loaded up and were ready to start 
at the time fixed, one o'clock. We did not start, 
however ; something was wrong on the line. It 
was two o'clock when we heard that we should have 
to go by a different route, the Valley section, as 
there had been a " wash out " on the course 
destined for us. In New Orleans the heat had 
been intense, almost unendurable, and higher up 
the Mississippi valley there had been terrific rain- 
storms. It was three o'clock before we started. 
All went well till the forenoon of next day when 
we came to a creek called Bayou Pierre. This was 
a wide valley seemingly miles across it was really 
between one and two miles. Here the line was 



280 HENRY IRVING 

carried on a long tressel bridge. But the flood was 
out and the whole great valley was a turgid river 
whose yellow, muddy water rushing past swirled 
in places like little whirlpools. It had risen some 
four feet over the top of the bridge, so that no one 
could say whether the track remained or had been 
swept away. There was a short and hurried con- 
ference between our train master and the local 
engineer and they determined to " take the 
chances." And so we started. 

It was necessary to go very slowly, for in that 
alluvial soil the running water weakens any sup- 
port ; the motion and vibration of a heavy train 
might shake down the structure. Moreover, the 
water level was almost up to the level of the floor 
of the carriages. Any wave, however little, might 
drown out the fires. It was a most remarkable 
journey ; the whole broad surface of the stream 
was starred with wreckage , of all sorts ; hayricks, 
logs, fences, trees with parts of the roots sticking 
up in the air ; now and again the roof of a barn or 
wooden shanty of some kind. Several times the 
floating masses carried snakes ! 

Our own little group Irving, Ellen Terry, Love- 
day and myself took the experience calmly. 
Indeed we enjoyed its novelty. Of course things 
might have turned out very badly. It was on the 
cards that any moment we might find that the 
bridge had been swept away there could be no 
possible indication to warn us ; or the passage of 
our long train might cause a collapse. In either 
case our engine would dive head foremost and 
the shock of its blowing up would throw the rest 
of the train into the flooded bayou. Irving sat 



CONFESSING THEIR SINS 281 

quietly smoking all the time and looking out of 
the windows on either side as some interesting 
matter " swam into his ken." 

In the other cars the same calm did not reign. 
There were a good many of the company who were 
quite filled with fear. So fearful were they that, 
as I was told later, they got reckless and in their 
panic confessed their sins. I never heard the de- 
tails of these confessions, and I did not want to. 
But from the light manner in which they were 
held by the more sturdy members I take it that 
either the calendar of their sins was of attenuated 
or mean proportions ; or else that the expression 
of them was curtailed by a proper sense of prudence 
or decorum. Anyhow, we never heard of any 
serious breach or unhappiness resulting from them. 

We crossed Bayou Pierre at last in safety, and 
kept on our way. Ours by the way was the last 
train that crossed the bayou till the flood was over. 
We heard next day that one section of the bridge 
close to the bank had gone down ten minutes after 
we had crossed. It had been an anxious time for 
the officials of the line. We could see them from 
both banks perpetually signalling to our driver, who 
was signalling in reply. It made the wide waste 
of water seem wider and more dangerous still. 
The only really bad result to us was that we arrived 
in Memphis too late to get anything to eat. In 
those days the rules governing hours in the South- 
western Hotels were very fixed, especially on 
Sundays. Up to nine o'clock you could get what 
you wanted. But after nine the kitchen was 
closed and money would not induce them to open 
it. Irving and Ellen Terry had of course ordered 



282 HENRY IRVING 

each their own dinner, and these, cold, waited 
them in their rooms ; but the rest of us were hungry 
and wanted food of some kind. So I tried strategy 
with the " boy " who attended me, a huge, burly 
nigger with a good-humoured face and a twelve- 
inch smile. I said : 

" What is your name ? " 

" George, sah ! George Washington." 

" George ! " I said, as I handed him half a dollar 
" George, you are an uncommonly good-looking 
fellow ! " 

" Yah ! Yah ! Yah ! " pealed George's homeric 
laughter. Then he said : 

" What can I do for you, sah ! " 

" George, your cook is a very stout lady, is she 
not ? " 

" Yes, sah, almighty stout, wide as a barrel. 
Yah! Yah! Yah!" 

" Exactly, George. Now I want you to go right 
up to her, put your arms round her tight, and 
give her a kiss a big one ! " 

" 'Fore Gad, sah, if I did, she'd open my head 
wid de cleaver ! " 

" Not so, George ! Not with a good-looking 
fellow like you." 

" An' what then, sah ? " 

' Then, George, you tell her that there is a 
stranger here who is perishing for some food. He 
is sorry to disturb so pretty a woman, who he is 
told is the belle of Memphis ; but necessitas non 
habet leges. Explain that to her, won't you, like 
a good fellow ? Make me out tall and thin and 
aristocratic-looking, with a white thin face and a 
hectic spot on each cheek bone, a black, melting and 



THE SUCCESS OF GEORGE 283 

yearning eye, and a large black moustache don't 
forget the moustache. Ask her if she will of her 
gracious kindness break the iron rule of discipline 
that governs the house, and send me some food, 
anything that is least troublesome. A slice of cold 
meat, some bread and a pitcher of milk, and if 
she has any cold vegetables of any sort, and the 
cruet, I can make a salad ! " 

George laughed wildly and hurried out. I could 
hear his cachinnation dying away down the long 
passage. Presently I heard it swelling up again 
as he drew near. The heavy footfall drew closer, 
and the door was kicked in after the manner of 
negro waiters in hotels there is an iron or brass 
plate at the base of the dining-room door for the 
purpose. George Washington bore an enormous 
tray, resting on an open palm spread back over 
his shoulder. When he laid it down its weight 
made the table shake. 

On it was food of all sorts enough for a dozen 
people beef, ham, tongue, turkey, bread and 
butter, pies of several kinds, milk, a salad bowl, 
and a lot of different cold vegetables, and the 
cruet. Such of my companions who were staying 
at our hotel came to my room and shared the 
banquet. 

That episode was worth a whole silver dollar 
to George. It was divided, I presume, with the 
adipose cook ; for there was no external appear- 
ance of his head having been " opened wid de 
cleaver." For the remaining days of our stay 
he followed me when opportunity served like a 
shadow. A very substantial shadow ; quite a 
Demogorgon of a shadow ! 



284 HENRY IRVING 



We had had a somewhat similar experience of a 
flood some years before, though of nothing like so 
dangerous a nature. This was on 3rd February 
1884, on our journey from Cincinnati to Columbus. 
The thaw had come on suddenly on the southern 
watershed of the northern hills when the ground 
through a long rigorous winter was frozen to a depth 
of several feet. Of course, the water, unable to sink 
into the ground, ran into the streams, and the 
Ohio River was flooded. As we left we could see 
that it was up to the top of the levee. Later on 
it rose some forty feet higher. It was a record 
flood. We went by the Pan Handle route of the 
Pennsylvanian Railway. As we went, whole tracks 
of country were flooded ; in places we ran where 
the roads were under water, and a mighty splash 
our engine sent ahead of her. We went very fast, 
"rushing" all the bridges, especially the small 
ones of which there were many. In a stopping 
time I had a chat with the driver one whom the 
depot-master of Cincinnati had told me he had 
put on specially because he was a bold driver 
who did not mind taking a risk. I asked him why 
he went so fast over the bridges, as I had heard 
it was much safer to go slow. 

" Not in a flood like this ! " he answered. " You 
see, the water has been out some time and the 
brick work is all sapped and sodden with wet. 
Mayhap we may shake a bridge down now and 
then, but I like them to fall behind me, and not 
whilst we're crossing. The depot-master told me 
I was to get you folks in ; and, by the Almighty, 



STEAM EXPLOSIONS 285 

I mean to do it if I shake down all the bridges in 
the Pan Handle. Anyhow, this is the last train 
that will run over the section till the floods are 
over." 

IV 

TRAIN ACCIDENTS 

At a rough computation the railroad journeys of 
Irving' s tours ran over fifty thousand miles more 
than twice round the Equator. The journeys were 
nearly always taken in special trains running at all 
sorts of hours, and almost invariably in the bad 
seasons of the year. It is not to be wondered at, 
therefore, that we had a certain percentage of 
accidents. That some of these accidents did not 
entail loss of life is the source of wonder. Several 
times we have had the train on fire ; once so badly 
that the danger was very great. It was only by 
the chance of it being discovered just as we were 
coming into a station that the whole train was not 
lost. As it was, the Insurance Company had to 
liquidate damages to our goods to the extent of 
500. 

Three times the bolt head of the engine has been 
blown out, once entailing a delay of six hours, 
until not only another engine but another driver 
who knew the road as weh 1 as the engine, could be 
found. 

Once in February 1900 when on our way from 
Indianapolis to Louisville some accident or ex- 
plosion took place which seemed to shatter the 
whole engine into scrap iron. But no one was 
hurt. 



286 HENRY IRVING 

On zyth January 1904 we went from Pittsburg 
to Buffalo. The cold was intense. There were ten 
feet of snow lying on the hills, and down the ser- 
pentine valley our driving wheel got " frosted " 
and flew to pieces. Fortunately we were on a 
stretch of level ground. Down the valley are here 
and there the remains of train wrecks on the bank 
of the river. Oui engine was a very powerful one, 
a great Pennsylvania!! fast hauler ; the great wheel 
was so thick that I could not lift a seemingly small 
fragment of it from the ground. 

The very next week, Sunday, 24th January, when 
going from Albany to Montreal, we met with another 
accident. I had been most careful about a good 
engine, and the agent of the New York Central had 
given us the spare engine used in case of need for 
the New York and Chicago " Flyer." The cold 
was again intense and the snow thicker than ever. 
Up high amongst the Andirondack Mountains, 
where the wind roared over hill and through valley, 
the snowdrifts piled up in places to great heights. 
That was an exceptionally severe winter and rail- 
roading was hard. We climbed all right to the 
top of a pass amongst the hills and were going 
along steadily when there was a sharp explosion. 
Then in a few seconds the train drew up with a 
jerk. Our saloon was at the end of the train, so 
it took me some little time to reach the engine, as I 
had gone outside instead of passing through the 
train. The road just there was running on an 
embankment, and the snow-plough had swept the 
track, only leaving the snow piled at the sides so 
that to pass the carriages was difficult leg-deep in 
the snow. On the sloping embankment the snow 



A LOST DRIVER 287 

lay many feet deep ; and as the whole place was 
intersected with storm rivulets there were great 
holes like caverns in the snowdrift. The other 
men had also tumbled out of their carriages in 
much concern. We came across the train crew 
working in frantic haste. They told us that both 
the driver and the fireman were missing, and 
they feared that they had been blown off into 
one of the watercourse cavities. In such case 
either or both might die before we could find them, 
for these cavities were secret they were honey- 
combed out beneath the blanket of snow. Very 
shortly we found the fireman. He had been on 
the outside of the engine when the explosion had 
occurred and was blown into the snowdrift head 
down. He was nearly choked when he was 
taken out. 

But there was no sign of the driver, and the 
search went on. Immediately after the accident 
the brakesman had run back on the track to flag 
" Danger " lest any other train should come down 
upon us. This is the imperative rule in such cases. 
When he had done this duty he was to run along 
the track to the last station we had passed about 
a mile back, and bring help. 

I was back on the line about a quarter of a mile 
when an engine piled with men came up at a 
furious pace. As it drew near the men began to 
call. 

" Has he been found ? " I shook my head. 

Close to our train they stopped and the men 
leaping from the engine spread themselves along 
the slopes of the embankment beginning a syste- 
matic search. Presently one of the crew of our 



288 HENRY IRVING 

train came along leaping through the deep snow 
calling out that the driver was found and was on 
the engine. We rushed back and found him there 
smearing his burns, which were pretty bad, with 
oil. The explosion had set his clothes on fire, but 
he had not lost his head. He had waited to turn 
the steam off, and then had taken a header into 
the deep snow wherein he had rolled himself till he 
had put the fire out. When he had managed to 
crawl out of his burrow the others of the crew, 
seeing the engine empty, had gone back to make 
search for him. He, not knowing that he was 
missed, had climbed quietly back into his cab. 

When Irving heard of the man's gallantry in 
stopping whilst all on fire to turn off steam before 
thinking of himself he said it was a thing that 
should be rewarded in a marked way. He was 
quite willing to give the reward himself, but he 
thought that the company would like to, and 
ought to, join in it. So we got up a subscription 
which he headed. We handed to the injured men 
a little purse of sixty-one dollars. They declared 
that they would like to take their injuries over 
again any time for half the money or a quarter 
of the kindness. 

The occasions when we were delayed by minor 
accidents to the train hot-boxes, breaking steam- 
pipes, freezing steam brakes, snows-up, washes-out, 
broken bridges were never ending. Many of them 
were not matters for much concern, but they were 
all causes of delay ; and in touring, delay is often 
disastrous. 



TERRIFIC SEAS 289 

V 

STORMS AT SEA 



Irving was across the Atlantic eighteen times, of 
which one, in 1886, was for a summer holiday trip. 
Of course there were many times when there was 
bad weather ; but on one crossing in 1899 we 
encountered a terrific storm. The waves were 
greater by far than any I had ever seen when I 
crossed in the Germanic in the February of the same 
year during the week of the worst weather ever 
recorded. On the occasion we were on the Atlantic 
transport S.S. Marquette. The weather had been 
nice for three days from our leaving London. But 
in the afternoon of the fourth day, i8th October, 
we ran into the track of a hurricane. As we went 
on the seas got bigger and bigger till at last they 
were mountainous. When we were down in the 
trough the waves seemed to stand up higher than 
our masts. The wind was blowing furiously some- 
thing like a hundred miles an hour, but there was 
no rain. The moon came out early, a splendid 
bright moon still in its second quarter, so that 
when night fell the scene was sublimely grand. 
We forged on as long as we could, but the screw 
raced so furiously as the waves swept past us that 
we had perforce to lie by for six hours ; it was not 
safe to go on as we might lose our screw-head. 
The tossing in that frightful sea was awful. Most 
of those on board were dreadfully frightened. 
Irving came out for a while and stood on the 
bridge holding on like grim death, for the shaking 

II T 



290 HENRY IRVING 

was like an earthquake. He seemed to really 
enjoy it. He stayed as long as he could and only 
went in when he began to feel the chill. Ellen 
Terry came out with me and was so enraptured 
with the scene that she stayed there for hours. I 
had to hold her against the rail for at times we 
rolled so that our feet shot off the deck. I showed 
her how to look into the wind without feeling it ; 
to hold the eyes just above the bulwark or the 
" dodger " if you are on the bridge and a few 
inches away from it. The wind strikes below you 
and makes a clear section of a circle right over 
and round your head, you remaining in the calm. 
To test the force of the wind I asked her to put 
out her hand, palm out so as to make a fair re- 
sistance ; but she could not hold it for an instant. 
Neither could I ; my hand was driven back as 
though struck with a hammer. 

In the companion-way of the Marquette several 
trunks too large for the adjacent cabin had been 
placed. They had been carefully lashed to the 
hand-rail, but in that wild sea they strained at 
their lashings rising right off the ground the way 
a chained dog does when he raises himself on his 
hind legs. One of the trunks, belonging to Irving, 
a great leather one, full of books and papers, was 
lashed by its own straps. In the companion-way 
had gathered nearly all the passengers, huddled 
together for comfort especially the women, who 
were mostly in a panic. In such cases the only 
real comfort a poor woman can have is to hold on 
to a man. I happen to be a big one, and therefore 
of extra desirability in such cases of stress. I was 

sitting on a trunk on the other side of the companion- 

- 



"THE GEESER'S DOSS-HOUSE" 291 

way from Irving's trunk, surrounded by as many 
of the womenkind as could catch hold of me, when 
in a roll of extra magnitude the leather straps 
gave way and the trunk seemed to hurl itself at 
us. I shoved the women away right and left, but 
missed the clearing its course myself by the frac- 
tion of a second. The corner of it caught me on 
the calf sideways, fortunately just clearing the 
bone. Another half-inch and I should certainly 
have lost my leg. I was lifted into the music 
saloon which was close at hand and my trouser 
leg cut open. We had three American footballers 
on board and these at once began to rub and 
knead the injured muscle, quite the best thing to 
do. Then it seemed as if every soul on board, man, 
woman, and child, had each a separate bottle of 
embrocation or liniment. These were all produced 
at once and used. 

Before a minute was over the skin of the wounded 
spot and for inches around it was completely rubbed 
off ! The pain was excruciating like an acre of 
toothache ; but I suppose it did me good. In the 
morning my foot was quite black, but by degrees 
this passed away. I limped for a week or two and 
then got all right. 

The women had a sore time of it that night. 
They nearly all refused absolutely to go to their 
cabins, and, producing rugs and pillows, camped* 
in the music saloon which was on deck. 

One young man, who spent most of his time 
leaning on the counter of the bar, gained instant 
notoriety by christening the saloon : " the Geeser's 
Doss-house ! " 



292 HENRY IRVING 



On Saturday, 5th October 1901, we left the 
Thames for New York on the Atlantic transport 
S.S. Minnehaha. In the river the wind began to 
blow, and by the time we rounded the South Fore- 
land a whole gale was on. Our boat was a large 
one, so that we on board did not mind, but it was 
a bad time for the pilot whom we had to shed at 
Dover. The row boat to take him off had come 
out to us in the comparative shelter of the Goodwins 
and had trailed beside us on the starboard quarter, 
nearly swamped in the rough sea. When we 
slowed down off Dover the sea seemed to get worse 
than ever. To look at it in the darkness of the 
night, each black slope crested with white as the 
lighthouse lit up its savage power, one could not 
believe that a little boat could live in it. It took 
the men on board all their time to keep her baled. 
A number of us men had gone down on the after- 
deck to see the pilot depart. He was a huge man ; 
tall as he was, the breadth of his shoulders seemed 
prodigious. When he descended the rope-ladder 
and debarked, which was a deed requiring skill 
and nerve, he seemed to overweight the little boat, 
he so towered over the two men in it. When a 
few strokes took them out of the shelter of our 
good ship, the boat, as she caught the gale, lurched 
sideways so much that it looked as though she were 
heeling over. My own heart was in my mouth. I 
heard a sudden loud laugh behind me, and turning 
round, saw one of the passengers, a stranger to 
me. I cried out with angry indignation : 

" What the devil are you laughing at ? Is it to 



A CAUSE OF LAUGHTER 293 

see splendid fellows like that in danger of their 
lives ? You ought to be ashamed of yourself. 
The men could actually hear you ! " For a few 
seconds he continued laughing wildly ; then turning 
to me said quite heartily : 

" Sorry ! It's a shame I know ; but I could not 
help laughing ! " Despite myself and my indigna- 
tion I could not help smiling. 

" What at ? " I said again. " There's nothing to 
laugh at there ! " 

" Well, my dear fellow," he gasped out, " I was 
laughing to think that I'm not a pilot ! " And 
once again his wild laughter pealed out. 



VI 

FALLING SCENERY 

In the great mass of scenery in a theatre and 
its many appliances, some of considerable weight, 
resting overhead there are certain elements of 
danger to those on the stage. Things have to be 
shifted so often and so hastily that there is always 
room for accident, no matter what care may be 
exercised. For instance, in Abbey's theatre in 
New York afterwards " The Knickerbocker " on 
the first night of Irving' s playing Macbeth, one of 
the limelight men, who was perched on a high plat- 
form behind the proscenium and O.P., fell on the 
stage together with the heavy gas cylinder beside 
him. The play was then over and Irving was 
making a speech in front of the curtain. Happily 
the cylinder did not explode. The man did not 
seem at the moment to be much injured, but he 



294 HENRY IRVING 

died on his way to hospital. Had any one been 
waiting underneath in the wing, as is nearly always 
the case all through a play, that falling weight 
must have brought certain death. 

I have myself seen Irving lifted from the stage 
by the Act drop catching his clothing. I have seen 
him thrown into the " cut " in the stage with the 
possibility of a fall to the mezzanine floor below. On 
another occasion something went wrong with the 
bracing up of the framed cloths and the whole scene 
fell about the stage. This happened between the 
acts whilst Irving was showing the stage to some 
American friends, Mr. and Mrs. Francis of Troy, N.Y. 
Happily no one was hurt. Such accidents, veritable 
bolts from the blue, are, however, both disconcerting 
and alarming. During Faust the great platforms 
which made the sloping stage on which some 
hundreds of people danced wildly at the Witches' 
Sabbath on the Brokken had to be suspended over 
the acting portion of the stage. The slightest 
thing going wrong would have meant death to all 
underneath. In such cases there must always be 
great apprehension. 



VII 

I have mentioned all these matters under the 
heading of " adventures " torpedoes, fires, floods, 
train accidents, storms at sea, mishaps of the stage 
for a special reason. Not once in the twenty- 
seven years of our working together did I ever see 
a sign of fear on Henry Irving. Whether danger 
came in an instant unexpectedly, or slowly to 



WITHOUT FEAR 295 

expecting eyes, it never disturbed him. Danger of 
any kind, so far as I ever had the opportunity of 
judging, always found him ready. 

When he was lying ill at Wolverhampton in the 
spring of 1905 Ellen Terry ran down from London, 
where she was then playing, to see him. She had 
known from me and others how dangerously ill he 
had been and was concerned as to how fear of 
death might act on his strength. She had asked 
him if he had such fear ; her description of the 
occasion as she gave it to me after his death left 
nothing open to doubt : 

" He looked at me steadily for a minute, and 
then putting his third finger against his thumb like 
that held his hand fixedly for a few seconds. 
Then with a quick movement he snapped his 
fingers and let his hand fall. How could I not 
understand ! " 

As the great actress spoke, her face through some 
mysterious power grew like Irving's. The raised 
hand, with the fingers interlaced, was rigid till 
with a sudden movement the fingers snapped, the 
hand going down as propelled from the wrist. It 
conveyed in a wonderful way the absence of a 
sense of fear, even on such a subject as Death. 
Even at second hand it was not possible not to 
understand. It said as plainly as if in words : 
" Not that ! " There was no room for doubt ! 

I have often heard him relate an incident from 
which he said he learned much. It referred to a 
certain habit of mind : an experience learned and 
carried so far as to become a part of one's nature 
a veritable second nature. There used to be a 
Superintendent at Bow Street, who in the early 



296 HENRY IRVING 

days of the Vaudeville and the Lyceum was a 
friend of his. Mr. Thompson was a very capable 
officer who had in his years of experience learned 
the value of self-control. One evening Irving and 
David James coming along the Strand saw the 
Superintendent before them, and determined to 
try an experiment on him. They crept softly up 
behind him and clapped sudden and violent hands 
on his shoulders. He did not turn or draw away 
suddenly, as an ordinary individual acting instinc- 
tively would have done. He stayed very still 
and turned his head slowly round till he saw who 
and what it was that disturbed him. As Irving 
said, he was a master of himself of his face. No 
one could have gathered from either expression or 
action what his emotions were. The lesson which 
he thus learned he applied twice at least to the 
practice of his art. Once was negatively that is, 
the negative side of the lesson, when in his depar- 
ture from the Court in The Merchant of Venice he 
dropped his shoulder and shrank from the touch 
of Gratiano ; the other was his eternal conscious- 
ness of danger and preparation to meet it instinc- 
tively in Eugene Aram. 

This is indeed part of that " Dual Consciousness " 
to which Irving so often alluded and which had in 
his estimation so basic a part in the Philosophy of 
his Art. We shall have to consider it when we 
reach that portion of the subject of this book : 
the summing up of the guiding principles of 
his art. 



LXXII 



BURNING OF THE LYCEUM STORAGE 

Difficulty of storing scenery New storage A clever fraud 

The fire Forty-four plays burned Checkmate to 

repertoire 

AT ten minutes past five on the morning of Friday, 
1 8th February 1898, I was wakened by a continuous 
knock at a door somewhere near my house in 
Chelsea. I soon discovered that it was at my own 
house. I went downstairs and opened the door, 
when a muffled up cab-driver gave me a letter. 
It was from the police station at Bow Street telling 
me that the Lyceum Storage, Bear Lane, South- 
wark, was on fire. The four-wheeler was waiting, 
and I was soon on the way there as fast as the 
horse could go. It was a dim, dank morning, 
bitterly cold. I found Bear Lane a chaos. The 
narrow way was blocked with fire-engines panting 
and thumping away for dear life. The heat was 
terrific. There was so much stuff in the storage 
that nothing could possibly be done till the fire 
had burnt itself out ; all that the firemen could do 
was to prevent the fire spreading. 

These premises deserve some special mention, for 
they played an important part in many ways, as 
shall be seen. 

One of the really great difficulties in the manage- 



298 HENRY IRVING 

ment of a London theatre is that of storage. A 
" going " theatre has to be always producing new 
plays and occasionally repeating the old. In fact, 
to a theatrical manager his productions form the 
major part of his stock-in-trade. Now, no one out- 
side theatrical management and very few who are 
inside can have any idea of the bulk of a lot of 
plays. In Irving' s case it was really vast ; the 
bulk was almost as big as the whole Lyceum 
theatre. To get housing for such is a very serious 
matter. In the first place, the rental is, on account 
of the space no matter where the locality, great. 
In the second, it does not do to have it too far away 
from the theatre, for in such case the cartage to 
and from, together with the workmen's time, makes 
an enormous item of expense. In the third place, 
storage for scenery has to be of a kind where it 
can easily be got at. Scenery is long, unhandy 
stuff to handle. That of the Lyceum was forty- 
two feet long when the cloths were rolled up round 
their battens ; the framed cloths were thirty feet 
high and six feet wide in the folding plaques. In 
the first ten years of Irving' s management we had 
to keep the scenery stored in all sorts of places 
and the space available in the theatre was packed 
solid. We were always on the look out for a really 
fine storage ; and at last we heard of one. This 
consisted of two great, high railway arches under 
the Chatham and Dover Railway, then leased to 
the South-East ern. It was a part of Southwark 
where the ground lies low and the railway line very 
high, so that there was full height for our scenes. 
In front was a large yard. We took the premises 
on a good long lease and set to work to make them 



A MODERN HERCULANEUM 299 

complete for our work. The backs of the arches 
were bricked up. Great scaffold poles were firmly 
fixed for the piling of scenery against them. It 
is hard to believe what lateral pressure a great 
pack of scenery can exercise. Before we had 
occupied this storage a year one of the poles gave 
way and the scenery sinking against the new wall 
at the back of the arch carried it entirely away. 
We had to pay expenses of restoration to the in- 
jured neighbour and to compensate him. We had 
the entire yard in front roofed over, brought in 
gas, which was carefully protected, and water, and 
made the storage the best of its kind that was 
known. The experience of a good many years- 
went to the making of it. 

We had had to put in a clause when making the 
agreement to take the lease for a reason not devoid 
of humour to any one not a sufferer by it. When I 
went to look at the arches I found them full almost 
to the top with mud old mud that had been put 
in wet and had dried in time to something like 
the consistency of that to be found at Herculaneum. 
The manager of the estate office of the railway told 
me the history of it. 

Some years before, the arches were placarded as 
to let, and in due course came an applicant. He 
said he was satisfied with the rent and took out 
his lease. The railway people were pleased to get 
such a big place off their hands and took no more 
trouble about it till the half-year's rental became 
due. They applied to the lessee, but could get 
no reply. So they sent to the premises to make 
inquiries. There was no one there ; and they 
could not hear any tidings of the lessee. They 



300 HENRY IRVING 

did find, however, that the arches were filled with 
mud, and discovered on inquiry that the lessee 
had taken a contract for the removal of road 
sweepings. This is a serious item in municipal 
accounts, for the conveyance of such out of London 
is costly, whether by road or barge or rail. Into 
the arches he had for half a year dumped all the 
stuff ; thousands and thousands of loads of it. 
He had drawn his money as earned from the muni- 
cipal authorities. Rent day drew near, and as he 
feared discovery he had bolted, leaving every one, 
including the contractors for carting, unpaid. 

It took the railway company months of con- 
tinuous work with a large staff of men and carts 
and horses to remove the accumulation. 

As the premises were secure in every way we 
could devise, we looked upon them as compara- 
tively immune from fire risk. No one lived in them. 
They were ah 1 brick, stone, and slate as the insur- 
ance policies put it. They were completely isolated 
front and back ; at the sides were blocks of solid 
brickwork like bastions. I had at first, with 
Irving's consent, insured the contents for 10,000, 
but only that year when the policies were to be 
renewed he said it was wasting money as the place 
was so secure, and would not let me put on more 
than 6000. 

In these premises were the scenes for the follow- 
ing plays, forty-four in all, of which in only ten 
Irving himself did not play. Twenty - two were 
great productions : 

Hamlet. Much Ado about Nothing. 

The Merchant of Venice. Twelfth Night. 

Othello. Macbeth. 



AN IRREPARABLE LOSS 301 

Henry VIII. Louis XI. 

King Lear. Charles I. 

Cymbeline. The Lyons Mail. 

Richard III. The Bells. 

The Corsican Brothers. The Iron Chest. 

The Cup. lolanthe. 

The Belle's Stratagem. The Amber Heart. 

Two Roses. Robert Macaire. 

Olivia. Don Quixote. 

Faust. Raising the Wind. 

Werner. Daisy's Escape. 

The Dead Heart. Bygones. 

Ravenswood. High Life Below Stairs. 

Becket. The Boarding School. 

King Arthur. The King and the Miller. 

Richelieu. The Captain of the Watch. 

The Lady of Lyons. The Balance of Comfort. 

Eugene Aram. Book III. Chapter V. 

Jingle. Cool as a Cucumber. 

For the plays there were over two hundred and 
sixty scenes, many of them of great elaboration. 
In fact, each scene, even if only a single cloth at 
back with wings and borders, took up quite a 
space. There were in all more than two thousand 
pieces of scenery, and bulky properties without 
end. The armour and " hand " properties were 
stored in the theatre. And the prime cost of 
the property destroyed was over thirty thousand 
pounds sterling. 

But the cost price was the least part of the 
loss. Nothing could repay the time and labour and 
artistic experience spent on them. All the scene 
painters in England working for a whole year 
could not have restored the scenery alone. 

As to Irving, it was checkmate to the " reper- 
toire " side of his management. Given a theatre 
equipped with such productions, the plays to which 
they belong being already studied and rehearsed, 



302 HENRY IRVING 

it is easy to put on any of them for a few nights. 
There is only the cost of carting and hanging the 
scenes and generally getting ready small matters 
in the vast enterprise of putting on a big play. 
They had had their long runs, and though they 
were good for occasional repetitions, few of them 
could be relied on for great business over any con- 
siderable period. Several of them were held over 
for a second run, of which good things might have 
been fairly expected. For instance, Macbeth was 
good for another season. It was taken off because 
of the summer vacation when it was still doing 
enormous business. Ravenswood, too, had only 
gone a part of its course when the Baring failure, 
as I have shown, necessitated its temporary 
withdrawal. Henry VIII. and King Arthur and 
Becket and Faust were certain draws. When for 
repertoire purposes in later years several were 
required, Louis XI. , Charles /., The Bells, The 
Lyons Mail, Olivia, Faust, and Becket were all 
reproduced at an aggregate cost of over eleven 
thousand pounds. 

The effect of the fire on Irving was not only 
this great cost, but the deprivation of all that 
he had built up. Had it not occurred he could 
have gone on playing his repertoire for many 
years, and would never have had to produce a 
new play. 

The fire was so fierce that it actually burned the 
building of the railway arches three bricks deep 
and calcined the coping stones to powder. The 
Railway Company, therefore, not only made a rule 
that in no case was theatrical scenery ever to be 
stored on their premises, but actually refused to 



NO NEED FOR STORAGE 303 

allow us to reinstate or to have use for the term 

i 

of their lease. They were prepared to fight an 
action over it, but the scenery having all been 
burned, we had no more present use for so large 
a storage, and we compromised the matter. 



LXXIII 



FINANCE 

The protection of reticence Beginning without capital 
An overdraft A loan A legacy Expenses at com- 
mencement of management Great running expenses 
Sale to the Lyceum Company Irving' s position with them 

I 

So much that is erroneous regarding Irving' s 
financial matters has been said at any time from 
the beginning of his success on to the day of his 
death and after, that I think it well to speak 
frankly of the matter now. Indeed there is no 
reason that I know of why it should not be made 
public. During his lifetime, ever since his busi- 
ness affairs were conducted on a big scale, we 
observed for purely protective reasons a very 
strict reticence. It must be remembered that a 
theatre, and especially a popular one, is a centre 
of great curiosity. Every one wants to know all 
about it, and curiosity-mongers if they cannot 
discover facts invent them. The only possible 
safeguard that I know of is strict reticence at head- 
quarters, and the formulation of such a system of 
accounts as makes it impossible for lesser officials 
to know any more than their own branch of work 
entails. To this end all our books at the Lyceum 
were designed and kept. Not one official of the 



FINANCIAL RETICENCE 305 

theatre outside myself knew the whole of the in- 
comings and the outgoings. Some knew part of 
one, some knew part of the other ; not even that 
official who was designated " treasurer " knew 
anything of the high finance of the undertaking. 
The box-office keeper made entry of daily receipts 
and checked over the nightly booking-sheet so as 
to secure accuracy in his own work ; but he had 
no knowledge whatever of the cash receipts at 
pit or gallery, where all is ready money. The 
treasurer made to the bank such lodgments as I 
gave him ; he paid treasury to the actors and 
staff on each Friday according to the list which I 
gave him, and on every Tuesday he paid such 
accounts as were settled in cash and such of my 
own cheques as I gave to his keeping for the 
purpose to be paid according to my list. But he 
did not pay all the salaries did not know them. 
Certain of them I myself paid, and these were not 
of the smaller amounts. He did not pay all the 
trade accounts; not the larger of them in any 
case. The weekly accounts of the heads of de- 
partments carpenters, property, wardrobe, gas, 
electric, supers, chorus, orchestra, &c. having been 
thoroughly checked in the office and vouched for 
by the stage manager, were paid in bulk to the 
heads of the departments, who distributed the 
amounts, and returned to me the receipted accounts 
with vouchers. In fact, the minor books kept by 
the various departments of both receipts and ex- 
penditure had practically only one side. Such 
officials either received money for handing in to me 
or paid out money given to them for the purpose. 
None of them did both. Thus it was that we kept 

II U 



306 HENRY IRVING 

our business to ourselves. Even in such a matter 
as free admissions none except those in the " office " 
knew of them. They did not go through the box- 
office at all, but were sent out under my own in- 
struction in each individual case. Even the " bill 
orders " the equivalent given in kind to those 
small traders who exhibit in their windows bills 
of the play of " double crown " or " folio " size, 
were not distributed in the usual way through the 
" bill inspector," but sent out in properly directed 
envelopes by the clerical staff. The account-books 
of the theatre were kept by myself and rigidly 
preserved in a great safe of which I alone had the 
key. The safe stood in the room which Irving 
and I and Loveday used in common, so that the 
books were always available for Irving' s purposes 
when he required them. The accounts were very 
carefully audited by chartered accountants whose 
clerks made monthly check of details. Then at 
the end of each season the audit was completed 
by the accountants themselves, who made return 
to Irving direct in sealed envelopes. 

Thus I can say that all through Irving' s manage- 
ment from the time of my joining him in 1878 till 
the time of my handing over such matters as were 
in my care to his executors by their own desire, 
after his will had been found, and before his 
funeral no one, except Irving himself, myself, and 
the chartered accountants (who made audit and 
whose profession is one sworn to individual secrecy) 
knew Irving' s affairs. I am thus particular be- 
cause the very reticence which we adopted as a 
policy and pursued as a system was a wise pro- 
tection, with of course such attendant possibilities 



BEGINNING MANAGEMENT 307 

as belong to a custom of strict reticence. Not 
once, in all our long connection of friendship and 
business, have I given to any one without Irving's 
special permission a single detail of his business. 
It was not until 1904, when I was writing an article 
by request of the Editor of the Manchester Guardian, 
apropos of his return to Sunderland after an absence 
of nearly fifty years, that we made known even 
approximately the vast total of his takings during 
his management. I quoted figures in that article 
which in modern form the paper designated as "an 
appreciation " with Irving's consent, and ran up 
to London from Derby, where we were then playing, 
to verify them. When we were arranging the 
matter I reminded him that I had never in all 
the years given a figure unless he had asked me 
to. Whereupon he said : 

" But you are always free to use what figures and 
anything else of mine you will. You know, my dear 
fellow, what confidence I have in your discretion. 
You are quite free in the matter, now and always ! " 
With this permission I feel at ease in now dealing 
publicly with matters regarding which I have been 
silent for so many years. I deal with them now 
because I regard them as good for Irving for that 
memory which he valued more than life. 

When Irving took over the Lyceum from Mrs. 
Bateman he had then accumulated no fortune. 
He received only a salary up to the time of Colonel 
Bateman's death. He then had salary an extra- 
ordinarily mild one considering all things and a 
prospective share of profits, which under the cir- 
cumstances did not amount to much. Practically 
such little as he had in the autumn of 1878 was 



308 HENRY IRVING 

rather in the nature of a treasury balance than of 
capital. Of course, in his tour he was earning 
good money, and this came in a " ready " form ; 
but the expenses which he was incurring in the 
reorganising and beautifying the Lyceum were 
vastly in excess of his present earning. When I 
came to London and took over his financial matters 
his bankers, the London and County Bank, had 
already arranged with him a large overdraft, some 
12,000, for which he had given bills. This debt 
and all others incurred in preparation of his long 
campaign at the Lyceum were duly paid. Through- 
out his whole managerial life his payment was 
twenty shillings in the pound, with added interest 
whenever such was due or possible. 

When he was undertaking the provincial tour 
in the autumn of 1878 the first under his own 
management, his friend, Mrs. Hannah Brown, the 
life-long friend and companion of the Baroness 
Burdett-Coutts, pressed on him a loan of fifteen 
hundred pounds. She had wished him to accept 
a larger sum, but he limited the amount to this. 
Indeed he took it at all to please her ; such a sum 
went but a small way in the vast enterprise on 
which he had entered. Unhappily she died before 
he began to play in his own theatre. The sum 
which she had lent was repaid to her executor in 
due season. 

When he first knew her, Mrs. Brown was a very 
old lady. She had been immensely struck with 
his power, and had recognised before most others 
the probable destiny that lay before him. When 
she was almost if not entirely blind he used to often 
go to see her and the Baroness, in the house in 



A LEGACY 309 

Stratton Street or elsewhere as they resided. Of 
course, all this I only know from being told it, for 
Mrs. Brown had died just before I came to live 
in London. Lady Burdett-Coutts told me of the 
great affection which Mrs. Brown had for the clever 
man whose genius she so much admired, and whose 
friendship was such a delight in her old- age. Not 
long after Irving' s death, when I was dining with 
her and Mr. Burdett-Coutts, she said : 

" I don't think he ever passed the house in her 
later years without coming in to see her, if only 
for a moment ! " Others, too, of the old friends 
have spoken to me of Mrs. Brown without stint ; 
and of her Irving often spoke to me himself. She 
used to go to the Lyceum time after time. During 
the long run of Hamlet she went some thirty times. 
For her pleasure the Baroness rented from the 
management a box at the Lyceum. This was not 
in itself unique for she had already a box at Drury 
Lane Theatre and another at Her Majesty's Opera 
House. I was told that when the old lady was dying 
she was then I believe about or over eighty 
that she spoke of Irving and his future, mentioning 
him as : " My poor brave boy ! " Irving was then 
forty, but he was still a " boy " to a woman of her 
great age. 

Mrs. Brown had very considerable means of her 
own, and a bequest paid by her executor to Irving 
was five thousand pounds. This was handed to 
him at the final settlement of her affairs in, 
strange to say, bank notes. That evening he told 
me of it when he arrived at the theatre. When 
he did so I opened the door of the safe thinking 
that he intended to place it there in safety until 



310 HENRY IRVING 

the next morning, when it could be lodged in 
bank. I was mightily surprised when he told me 
that he had not got it with him. He smiled at 
me as he said : 

" I was afraid to carry it with me. I never in 
my life had so much money close to me ! " 
' What have you done with it ? " I asked. 
" I left it in my room at home ! " 
" Is it put by safely ? " I asked again. 
" Oh yes ! " he added quickly, as though justifying 
himself. I had an idea that it was not quite safe 
and went on with my queries : 

' Where is it ? " He smiled, I thought superiorly, 
as he answered : 
" In my hat-box ! " 

' You locked it, I hope ? " Again the smile : 
" What would be the use of that ? If I had 
locked away anything it would only have called 
attention to it. The hat-box is simply lying there 
as usual with the lid half off. No one would dream 
of suspecting it not in a thousand years ! " 

This illustrates, I think, in a remarkable way the 
subtlety of his own character, and the method by 
which he judged others. He had passed the pos- 
sibilities " through his mind," and was so content 
with his knowledge that he backed it with a 
fortune. Later on there was a boy who did take 
things from his rooms. He was, however, found 
out and the property recovered, all except Edwin 
Forrest's watch of which a part had been probably 
melted down. 

That legacy of five thousand pounds was, so far 
as I know, and had there been other I should cer- 
tainly have known, the only money which Irving 



VAST EXPENSES 311 

received for which he did not work, through all 
the long course of his years of much toil. I mention 
it now specifically because one of the unkindly, pre- 
suming that his ignorance of fact was the ignorance 
of others also, made after the actor's death a 
statement that he had been " subsidised." It 
ought not to be necessary to contradict such 
reckless statements they ought never to have 
been made ; but having been made it is best to 
let the exact facts be known. The best of all 
bucklers, for the living or the dead, is simple, honest 
truth. 

The needs of the theatre were very great ; at the 
beginning almost overwhelming. On my first taking 
over the responsibility of business affairs I acquired 
a wide experience of what is known as " pulling the 
devil by the tail." When Irving took the Lyceum 
its entire holding capacity was 228. Sometimes 
under extraordinary pressure, when every inch of 
standing room was occupied, we got in a little 
more ; but only once in the first two seasons did 
we cover 250. That was on Irving's " Benefit," 
as it was then called. 

The autumn of 1881 was devoted to enlarging 
and improving the house. At a cost of over 
12,000 it was made to hold another 100. Thence 
on, various improvements and certain dispositions 
of the seating were effected, which brought up the 
holding power to a maximum of about 420, though 
on very special occasions we managed to squeeze 
in a little more. Some idea may be formed of the 
vast expense of working such a theatre as the 
Lyceum, and in the way which Irving worked it, 
when I say that on that theatre he spent in what 



3ii HENRY IRVING 

we called " Expenses on the House " a sum of 
60,000. During my time the " Production ac- 
count " amounted to nearly 200,000. 

The takings for his own playing between the 
time of beginning management, 3Oth December 
1878, and the day of his death, I3th October 1905, 
amounted to the amazing total of over two million 
pounds sterling. 

II 

Only those who have experience of the working 
of a great theatre can have any idea of the vast 
expenditure necessary to hold success. A play may 
be a success or a failure, and its life must have a 
natural termination ; but a theatre has to go on at 
almost equal pressure and expense through bad times 
and good alike. It is necessary for the management 
to have a large reserve of strength ready to be used 
if need arises. This implies ceaseless expenditure ; 
a portion of which never can be repaid because the 
plays which involve it have to be abandoned. It 
is really too much work for one man to have to 
think of the policy of the future, and of carrying 
it into effect, whilst at the same time he has to 
work as an artist in the running play. No monetary 
reward would atone for such labour ; only ambition 
can give the spur. Things, therefore, are so con- 
stituted in the theatrical world that the ambitious 
artist must be his own manager. And only those 
strong enough to be both artist and man of busi- 
ness can win through. The strain of ceaseless 
debt must always be the portion of any one who 
endeavours to uphold serious drama in a country 



AMBASSADORS OF PEACE 313 

where subsidy is not a custom. In the future, the 
State or the Municipality may find it a duty to 
support such effort, on the ground of public good. 
Otherwise the artist must pay with shortened life 
the price of his high endeavour. Light perform- 
ances may and generally do succeed, but good plays 
seriously undertaken must always be at great risk 
to the venturer. For more than twenty-five years 
Irving did for England that which in other nations 
is furthered by the State ; and his theatre was 
known and respected all over the world. This en- 
tailed not only hospitality in all forms to foreign 
artists, but to many, many strangers attracted by 
the fame of his undertaking, and anxious to meet 
so famous a man in person. This duty Irving never 
shirked ; he had ever a ready hand for any stranger, 
and in the long career of his ministration of the 
duties of hospitality he actually aided, so far as one 
man could do, the popularity of his own country 
amongst the nations of the world. Such men are 
the true Ambassadors of Peace, as well as National 
benefactors. Reputation for hospitality and charity 
is a factor in the enlargement of the demands made 
on these. When duty called Irving was never found 
wanting, in this or any other form. 

But still through all it must be remembered that 
the more he had to spend the harder he had to 
work to earn the wherewithal to do it. When I 
came to him first, six performances each week in 
heavy plays was deemed sufficient work for the 
strongest ; but as time went on a matine'e was 
added. And for some twenty years seven perform- 
ances a week was the working rule. In light, 
amusing, or unemotional plays this is not too 



3 14 HENRY IRVING 

much ; for when a run is on, the ordinary work of 
rehearsal is suspended. But for heavy plays it is 
too much. Still what is one to do who is playing 
for the big stakes of life. Brain and body, nerve 
and soul have to be ground up in the effort to hold 
the place already won. Irving was determined from 
the very first to strain every nerve for the honour 
of his art ; for the perfecting of stage work ; for 
his own fame. To these ends he gave himself, his 
work, his fortune. He forewent very many of the 
ordinary pleasures of life, and laboured unceasingly 
and without swerving from his undertaken course. 
He gave freely in its cause all the fortune that came 
to him as quickly as it accrued. It was only when 
through shocks of misfortune and the stress of 
coming age he was unable to put by the large sums 
necessary for further developments, that he had 
to forestall the future temporarily. Bankers are of 
necessity stern folk and unless one can give quid 
pro quo in some shape they are pretty obdurate 
as to advances. Therefore it was that now and 
again, despite the enormous sums that he earned, 
he had occasionally to get an advance. Fortunately, 
there were friends who were proud and happy to 
aid him. Such never lost by their kindness ; every 
advance was punctiliously met, and the attach- 
ment between him and such friends grew ever 
and ripened. It would be invidious to mention 
who those friends were. Some perhaps would not 
like their names mentioned, and so " the rest is 
silence." 

There were not many occasions when such measures 
were necessary. I only mention them now lest any 
of those friends should deem me wanting, in even 



THE LYCEUM COMPANY 315 

such a partial record as this, did I not mention that 
Henry Irving had constant and loving friends who 
held any power in their hands at his disposal, and 
were alike glad and proud to help him in the 
splendid work which he was doing. Let me, as the 
only mouthpiece that he now can ever have, since 
I alone know all those friends, say that to the last 
hour of his life he was grateful to them for their 
sympathy, and belief, and timely help ; and for all 
the self-confidence which their trust gave to him. 



Ill 

When after his long illness in 1898-1899 the pro- 
position of selling his interest in the Lyceum was 
made to Irving by the Lyceum Theatre Company 
the parent Company the terms suggested were 
these : 

He was to convey to the Company his lease of 
which some eighteen years were still to run, and 
all his furniture and fittings in the theatre. He 
was for five years the duration of the contract to 
play an annual engagement of at least a hundred 
performances at the Lyceum on terms which were 
mentioned and which were between 10 per cent, 
and 25 per cent, less than he was in the habit of 
receiving in any other theatre. He was to hand 
over to the Company one-fourth of all his profits 
made by acting elsewhere, he guaranteeing to play 
on tour at least four months in each year. He 
was to give the Company free use of such of his 
scenery and properties as were not in his own use. 



316 HENRY IRVING 

He was to pay all the expenses of production of 
plays in the first year, and in the other years 60 
per cent, of the same. For the first season he 
was to guarantee the Company a minimum of 
100 for their share of each performance. He was 
to pay all the stage expenses, and half of the 
advertisements . 

For this the Company were to pay him down 
26,500 in cash and 12,500 in fully paid shares 
in proportion of the two classes, viz., 100,000 6 
per cent, preference shares and 70,000 ordinary 
shares. 

I protested to Irving against the terms. I had 
already worked out the figures of results, accord- 
ing to such data as were available, of this scheme 
and also of an alternative one, in case he wished 
to abandon or alter the one on which we had 
already decided. The difference was that, accord- 
ing to the alternative scheme, he would at the end 
of five years, in addition to the total of profits 
realisable by the Company scheme, be still in pos- 
session of his theatre, scenery, and property of 
all kinds. 

That I was correct has been shown by the un- 
happy result of the Company enterprise. The 
Company lost almost persistently except in the 
seasons when Irving played. The one exception 
was, I believe, when William Gillette played Sherlock 
Holmes, a piece which Irving recommended the 
directors to accept. I was present at its first 
night in New York, and saw at once its London 
possibilities. 

The Company lasted from the beginning of 1899 
till the end of the season of 1902. During this 



PROFITS FROM HIS WORK 317 

period of less than four years the total amount in 
cash accruing to the Company from Irving's acting 
was roughly 29,000. 

In estimating this amount I took as the basis of 
the Company's expenses the cost of running the 
theatre in our own time for the number of weeks 
covering the time of Irving's seasons with the Com- 
pany. This allowed as liberal an amount as our own 
management, which was carried out on a much more 
generous scale. I excluded only the item of rental, 
which, as the Company was its own landlord, would 
be represented by the productiveness of the capital. 
The above amount would, roughly, have paid during 
each of the whole four years in which the contract 
lasted the preference shareholders their whole 6 per 
cent, and the ordinary shares over ij per cent, in 
each entire year, leaving seven whole months of 
each year, exclusive of summer holidays, for earn- 
ing the 4 per cent, dividend on the 120,000 
mortgage debentures, and increasing the dividend 
on the ordinary shares. 

It will from the above figures be seen that the 
contract which Irving made with the Lyceum 
Company was not in any way a beneficial one for 
him, but an excellent one for them. 

I am particular about giving these figures in 
detail, for at some of the meetings of the Company 
there was the usual angry " heckling " of the 
directorate regarding losses ; and there were not 
lacking those who alleged that Irving was in some 
way to blame for the result. But I am bound to 
say that when, at the meeting in 1903, I thought it 
necessary to put a stop to such misconception and 
gave the rough figures showing the results of 



3i 8 HENRY IRVING 

his playing during the time the contract existed, 
my statement was received even by the disap- 
pointed shareholders with loud and continuous 
cheers the only cheers which I ever heard at a 
meeting of the Company. I honestly believe that 
there was not one person in the room who was 
not genuinely and heartily glad to be reassured 
from such an authoritative source as myself as to 
Irving' s position with regard to the Company. 

The cancellation of the contract between Irving 
and the Lyceum Theatre Company was in no way 
due to any fault or default of his. It became 
necessary solely because the Company was unable 
to fulfil its part. The London County Council, in 
accordance with some new regulations, called on 
the Company to make certain structural alterations 
in the theatre. The directors said they could not 
afford to make them as their funds were exhausted ; 
and so the theatre had to remain closed. At that 
time Irving had already undertaken vast responsi- 
bilities with regard to the play of Dante, for which 
he had made contracts with painters and costumiers, 
and had engaged artists. It was vitally necessary 
that he should have a theatre wherein to play ; 
and so there was no alternative but to annul the 
contract. Even as it was, he had to take upon 
his own shoulders the whole of the vast cost of 
the production upon which he had entered as a 
joint concern. 

In fine, Irving' s dealings with the Company may 
be thus summed up. He received in all for his 
property, lease, goodwill, fixtures, furniture, the 
use of his stock of scenery and properties, and a 
fourth of his profits elsewhere, 39,000 paid as 



RESULT OF THE CONTRACT 319 

follows : cash, 26,500 ; shares, 12,500. He repaid 
by his work 29,000 in cash. The shares he re- 
ceived proved valueless. 1 He gave, in fact, his 
property and 2500 for nothing ; and he lost about 
two years of his working life. 

I should like to say, on my own account, and for 
my own protection, inasmuch as I was Sir Henry 
Irving' s business manager, that from first to last 
I had absolutely no act or part in the formation of 
the Lyceum Theatre Company in its promotion, 
flotation, or working. Even my knowledge of it 
was confined to matters touched on in the contract 
with Irving. From the first I had no information 
as to its purposes, scope or methods, outside the 
above. I did not take a single share till it began 
to look queer with regard to its future ; I then 
bought from a friend five shares for which I paid 
par value. This I did in order that I might have 
a right to attend the meetings. Later, in 1903, 
when shares were selling at all sorts of prices I 
bought some in the open market. This was simply 
as a speculation, as I regarded the freehold of the 
Lyceum as a valuable property which might eventu- 
ally realise a price which would make my invest- 
ment at the prevailing figures a good one. These 
shares I protected on the winding-up and re-con- 
struction of the Company with an assessment of 
25 per cent, of their face value. But finally, seeing 
the conditions under which the new Company was 

1 The preference shares at the break up sold for, as well as 
I remember, seven pence for each fully paid share of one pound 
sterling. He would never sell his shares lest his doing so might 
injure the property of the Company. They were only parted 
with at the winding up, when the Receiver sold, on his own 
authority, all unapplied-for shares. 



320 HENRY IRVING 

about to work, I sold them in the usual way through 
my broker. 

As a matter of fact I was on the Atlantic or in 
America at the time the parent company or syndi- 
cate to whom it was that Irving had sold his 
property was formed. When I arrived home this 
association had become merged in the Lyceum 
Theatre Company which had been floated, and of 
which the whole capital had been subscribed. Not 
for nearly a year afterwards did I even see a copy 
of the prospectus of the Company. 



LXXIV 



THE TURN OF THE TIDE 

High-water mark A succession of disasters Pleurisy 
and pneumonia " Like Gregory Brewster " Future 
arrangements decided on Offer from the Lyceum Com- 
pany Health failing True heroism Work and pressure 
His splendid example The last seven years Time of 
Retirement fixed Singing at Swansea Farewell at 
Sunderland Illness at Wolverhampton Last perform- 
ances in London Last illness Death A city in tears 
Lying in state Public Funeral. 



" THERE is a tide in the affairs of men." For 
twenty-five years it flowed for Henry Irving without 
let or lull. From the production of The Bells in 
November 1871 he became famous ; and thence on 
he bore himself so well that with the exception of 
the disgruntled few who grudge success to any one, 
he was accorded by all an unquestioned supremacy 
in his chosen art. For a full quarter of a century 
there was nothing but ever-increasing esteem and 
honour and position ; an undeviating prosperity 
which made all things possible to the ambitious 
actor. True, the success was accompanied through- 
out by endless labour and self-sacrifice, and by 
grinding responsibility. His life was more strenuous 
than the lives of most successful men. For an 
n x 



322 HENRY IRVING 

actor's work is altogether personal, and when in 
addition to the practice of his art he under- 
takes the added stress and risk of management 
such, too, is altogether personal. But, after all, 
labour and responsibility are the noblest roads by 
which a man may travel towards honour. By 
any other way success is merely the outcome of 
hazard. 

But the tide must turn some time otherwise 
the force would be not a tide but a current. The 
turning came on the night of igth December 1896 
the night of the production of Richard III. A 
night of unqualified success as should be when 
high-water mark is reached. A night which seemed 
to crown the personal triumph of the years. After 
the performance and when the cheering crowd had 
taken their reluctant way, Irving had a large 
gathering on the stage. Such had become a custom 
on first and last nights of the season, and now and 
again on marked occasions. They were very de- 
lightful opportunities for large and comprehensive 
hospitality, enjoyed, I think, by all. So soon as 
the curtain fell the scenery would be put rapidly 
into the " scene docks " and the stage left clear. 
Then the caterers, Gunter's, who had everything 
ready, would place long tables round three sides of 
the stage and prepare a cold " standing " supper 
for all who were expected. During this time Irving 
would have rapidly changed his costume for evening 
dress ; so that by the time the waiting guests in 
the auditorium were beginning to file in on the 
stage through the iron door in the proscenium O. P., 
he would meet them coming from his dressing-room. 
I used to stand at the door myself so as to see that 




/ia 



A GATHERING ON THE STAGE 323 

no chance guests whose presence was welcome were 
denied. For very often there were in the house 
some whom Irving would like to welcome, and of 
whose presence we were ignorant to the last. The 
whole proceeding was an informal one. There were 
no invitations except such verbal ones as I con- 
veyed myself. On such occasions there would be 
from three to six hundred guests on the stage, an 
enormous number of whom were persons whose 
names were at least widely known ; representatives 
of art and letters, of statesmanship and the various 
forms of public life ; of the great social world, of 
the professions, of commerce of the whole great 
world of personal endeavour. 

On this particular occasion there was a large 
gathering. When the curtain went up on the 
empty proscenium, the big stage seemed a solid 
mass of men and women. One could tell Irving' s 
whereabouts by the press of friends thronging round 
to congratulate him on the renewal of his success 
in Richard III. of twenty years before. 

Little by little as time wore away the crowd 
thinned. When the last had gone Irving and a 
very dear friend of his, Professor (afterwards Sir 
James) Dewar, went for a while to the Garrick 
Club. After the strain of such a night sleep was 
shy and the kindest thing that any friend could 
do was to keep with him and talk over matters 
old and new, so as to make a break between strain 
and rest. That night was a strangely exciting one 
to Irving. On it he had reproduced after a lapse 
of just twenty years one of the greatest and most 
surprising successes of his earlier life. For Richard 
III. when he played it in 1877 was a new thing 



324 HENRY IRVING 

to all who saw it. Clement Scott, writing of it in 
the Daily Telegraph, had said : 

" The enjoyment derived from the performance was 
undoubtedly heightened by the pleasurable astonish- 
ment with which the playgoer made the unexpected 
discovery of a new source of dramatic delight. It is 
not often that a frequenter of theatres can recall in 
the course of a long experience one particular night 
when the channels of thought seemed to be flushed 
by a tide of new sensations." 

On the night of its revival all the old triumph 
came back afresh. No wonder that the player 
was too high-strung to rest. From the Garrick the 
two friends walked to Albemarle Street where 
Dewar had his rooms in the Royal Institution. 
There they sat and smoked for a while and dis- 
cussed the philosophy of Acting and the form of 
education which would be most beneficial for 
Irving' s sons. When Irving rose to go home he 
lived literally " round the corner " in 15 A Graf ton 
Street, Dewar went with him. Irving insisted on 
his going in for a few minutes. This he acceded 
to, anxious that the super-wearied man should not 
feel lonely at such a time. After a cigar Dewar 
left. It was then coming daylight, and Irving an- 
nounced his intention of taking a bath before turn- 
ing in. Dewar left him tranquil and now ready 
for his needed rest. 

The stairs in the Graf ton Street " upper part " 
were steep and narrow, and Irving in the dim light 
of morning stealing to the internal staircase slipped 
a foot on the top stair. Unfortunately on the 
narrow landing stood an old oak chest. His knee 
as he slipped struck this, and the blow and the 



THE COST OF A FOOT-SLIP 325 

strain of recovery ruptured the ligatures under the 
knee-cap. When in the morning the surgeon who 
had been sent for saw him he declared that it 
would be utterly impossible for him to play for 
some time. Further advice was even more pessi- 
mistic, placing the period at months. 

The disaster of that morning was the beginning 
of many which struck, and struck, and struck again 
as though to even up his long prosperity to the 
normal measure allotted to mankind. 

It was ten weeks before he was able to play 
again. Ellen Terry had gone to Homburg whither 
she had been recommended the day after Cymbeline 
which had preceded Richard III. had been taken 
off. It was the end of January before she could 
give up her " cure " and return to London. She 
played Olivia for three weeks with good effect. 
We had tried Cymbeline for a week after Christmas ; 
but with Irving and Ellen Terry out of the cast 
the receipts were such that though the salaries rent 
and such running expenses had to be paid in any 
case, it was cheaper to close than go on. The 
entire income did not nearly pay the expenses of 
keeping the theatre open instead of shut. 

That accident of a foot-slip cost Irving two 
months and a half of illness and an out-of-pocket 
expense of over six thousand pounds. This instead 
of the prosperous winter season which had already 
seemed assured. 



II 

A little more than a year afterwards, February 
came the burning of the storage, which I 



326 HENRY IRVING 

have already described, and the effect of which 
was so permanently disastrous in crippling effort. 
Eight months after that came the greatest calamity 
of his life. 

The disasters of these three years, 1896-7-8, 
seemed cumulative and consistent to the 

" Unhappy master, 
Whom unmerited disaster 
Follows fast and follows faster." 

The first struck his activity ; the second crippled 
his resources ; the third destroyed his health. 



Ill 

To any human being health is a boon. To an 
actor, qua actor, it is existence. During the 
provincial tour in the autumn of 1898 all was going 
well. We had got through the earlier weeks of the 
tour when we had, through very hot weather, 
played some of the lesser places and were now 
in the big cities. Birmingham and Edinburgh 
had shown fine results of the week's work in each 
place, and we were in the midst of the first week 
in Glasgow always a stronghold of Irving. On 
the Thursday night, I3th October, we were playing 
Madame Sans G$ne to a fine house and all was 
going splendidly. Just before the curtain went up 
on the second act, in which Napoleon makes his 
appearance, Irving sent for me to my office. I came 
at once to his dressing-room. I found him sitting 
down dressed for his part. His face was drawn 
with pain at each breath. When I came in he 
said : 



SERIOUS ILLNESS 327 

" I think there must be something wrong with 
me. Every breath is like a sword-stab. I don't 
think I ought to be suffering like this without 
seeing some one." As I saw that he was really 
ill, I asked if I might go and dismiss the audience. 
But he would not hear of it. Never in his life 
have I known him let any pain of his own keep 
him from his work. He said : 

" I shall be able to get through all right ; but 
when I have seen a doctor we may have to make 
some change for to-morrow." I hurried off to 
send for a doctor, and as his call came he went on 
the stage. The doctor arrived during the last act, 
but he could not see him till the end of the play. 
Then the doctor said he feared he was seriously 
ill, and hurried him off to his hotel and to bed. 
A careful examination showed that he had both 
pneumonia and pleurisy. Two nurses of special 
excellence were picked out and preparations were 
made for a lengthy illness. 

The bill for next night was The Merchant of 
Venice and Norman Forbes, almost without pre- 
paration, played Shy lock. The tour went on by 
Irving' s wish, for the livelihood of some seventy 
people depended on it. The ten weeks which it 
lasted cost him a very considerable sum of money. 

The cause of his illness was a chill received the 
previous Sunday. That day the Company went 
from Edinburgh to Glasgow, but he remained as 
he had an engagement to lunch at Dalmeny with 
Lord Rosebery. In the afternoon he drove back 
to Edinburgh and took train. At that time, how- 
ever, the new station of the North British Railway 
was in process of erection and had reached a stage 



328 HENRY IRVING 

in which the road from Princes Street down to the 
level of the line was blocked during reconstruction ; 
so that it was necessary to walk down. There had 
been a good deal of rain that afternoon and the 
torn roadway was full of water-pools. In walking 
through the imperfectly lighted way he got his 
feet wet and had to sit in this condition in a 
carriage without a foot- warmer during the hour's 
journey to Glasgow. He did not feel the ill effects 
immediately, but the seeds of the disease, or rather 
the diseases had been laid. 

Of course during his illness he had every help 
and care that could be. But his case was a bad 
one. For seven weeks he lay ill in Glasgow during 
which time I almost lived in trains, seeing the 
work started and finished in each town and in the 
meantime travelling to Glasgow and to London, 
where immense and responsible work for the future 
had to be done. Forbes-Robertson had then the 
Lyceum for an autumn season, but his tenancy 
expired at Christmas. So we arranged that the 
Carl Rosa Opera Company should play for six 
weeks. Then Martin Harvey would produce a 
play, The Only Way, a version of Charles Dickens' 
A Tale of Two Cities, dramatised by Freeman Wills. 
Our negotiations for letting the theatre were very 
difficult, for as we did not know when it would be 
possible for Irving to play, we had in every case 
to have the option of bringing the temporary 
tenancy to an end at any time to suit us. This 
involved that every arrangement made by any one 
renting the theatre should make similar conditions 
with his own people. Nevertheless, through all 
difficulties we arranged for the provisional occupy- 



"LIKE GREGORY BREWSTER" 329 

ing the theatre at a good rental right up to the 
end of July. 

As I used to see Irving every few days I could 
note his progress down or up. At first, of course, 
he got worse and wors'e ; weaker, and suffering 
more pain. He had never in his life been any- 
thing but lean, but now as he lost flesh the outline 
of his features grew painfully keen. The cheeks 
and chin and lips, which he had kept clean shaven 
all his life, came out stubbly with white hair. At 
that time his hair was iron-grey, but no more. I 
remember one early morning when I came into the 
sitting-room and found his faithful valet, Walter, 
in tears. When I asked him the cause for I feared 
it was death he said through his sobs : 

" He is like Gregory Brewster ! " the old soldier 
in Waterloo. Walter did not come into the room 
with me ; he feared he would break down and so 
do harm. W T hen I stole into the room Irving had 
just waked. He was glad to see me, but he looked 
very old and weak. Poor Walter's description was 
sadly accurate. Indeed he realised the pathetic 
picture of the dying Sir John Falstaff given by 
Mrs. Quickly : 

" His nose was as sharp as a pen." 

It was not till 7th December that he was well 
enough to get back to London. On I5th at Man- 
chester, where I then was with the Company, I 
got a wire from him asking to see me at once on 
urgent business. I saw him next morning. The 
business was regarding a speculative offer made to 
him, against which I strongly advised him. The 
business did not, however, require much thought; 



330 HENRY IRVING 

it came to an end before it was well started. That 
day he left for Bournemouth. He was looking well 
when he left though still very weak. He felt much 
even the going down stairs from his second floor in 
Graf ton Street. For the remainder of his life he 
could never with ease go up stairs. 

On Wednesday morning, 2ist December, I got a 
wire asking me to come down to Bournemouth by 
the 2.15 train. I arrived at five at the Bath Hotel 
where he was staying. The note in my diary says : 

" H. I. looking well. Much stronger, self-possessed 
and evenly balanced. Arranged to tour at Easter. 
Lyceum season in September and October. American 
tour in autumn." 

This was just what I had already advised, and 
in which Loveday had thoroughly acquiesced. We 
had arranged for a rack-rental of the Lyceum for 
the season. We should have a tour of three months 
with small expenses, as we should only take a few 
plays with light casts and would mainly play in 
places in which he had never appeared. The satis- 
factory result was a foregone conclusion. 

Then would come a holiday of two months to 
recuperate and get strong, and then a season of 
eight weeks in London. This, too, promised more 
than well. He had already arranged with Sardou 
and Moreau to produce Robespierre that year (1899) ; 
and as he had paid a thousand pounds advance 
royalties he would have no fees to pay for five 
or six weeks. He had then also an offer of ten 
thousand pounds for his lease of the Lyceum to 
come into operation after October. This offer was 
still open in case he should wish to avail himself 
of it. The American tour promised a rich reward. 



A CHANGE OF POLICY 331 

Irving's judgment was at high tide when with 
fresh hope and vigour he accepted this policy. I 
left him the next morning to join the tour at 
Brighton where it was to finish on Saturday, 
Christmas Eve. We were both in good spirits, 
hopeful and happy. 



IV 

It was an unfortunate thing for his own pros- 
perity that Irving did not adhere to the arrangement 
then made. I fear that the chagrin which he felt 
at the check to his plans had too operative a force 
with him. When the offer made by the parent 
Lyceum Theatre Company was put before him he 
jumped at it ; and before he had consulted with 
me about it, or even told me of it, he had actually 
signed a tentative acceptance. It was now three 
weeks since he had agreed as to the policy of the im- 
mediate future. Loveday and I had been during 
that time engaged in working out the provincial and 
American tours, so that it was a surprise when he 
sent to us both to come down to Bournemouth to 
see him regarding the new proposal. We went 
down on the i2th January and stayed a few days. 
We discussed the matter of the Company's pro- 
position, and I laid before him some memoranda 
comparing this with the scheme already in hand. 
The advantage was all to the latter. It was easy 
to see, however, that Irving's mind was made up. 
The new scheme was attractive to him in his then 
condition and circumstances. He had been recently 
very, very ill and was still physically weak. He 



332 HENRY IRVING 

had for over two years felt the want of capital 
or such organised association of interests as makes 
for helpfulness ; and here was something which 
would share, if it did not lift, the burden. At any 
rate, whatever may have been the cause or the 
prevailing argument or interest with him, he had 
in this matter made up his mind. When a man 
of his strong nature makes up his mind to a course 
of action he generally goes on with it despite reasons 
or arguments. So far as facts and deeds go he is 
like a horse that has taken the bit between its teeth. 
He listened, as ever, attentively and courteously and 
with seeming thoughtfulness, to all I had to say and 
then shifted conversation to details, as though the 
main principle had been already accepted. On the 
1 4th Corny ns Carr came down on behalf of the Com- 
pany as had been agreed before Irving sent for us. 
Together we all went over the scheme. As Irving 
had accepted the principle and was determined to 
go on, we could only discuss details. I tried hard 
to get a betterment of the sharing terms ; but 
without avail. The only change of importance I 
could effect was that Irving should be put down 
for the same salary almost nominal to an actor 
of his position which had always been entered on 
our books. Even this was to be only the pro- 
vincial salary, not the American which was three 
times as much. This concession, however, as to 
salary was eventually to him an addition of some 
five thousand pounds. A few lesser matters, such 
as the Company sharing the cost of storage, were 
to his betterment. 

In the original proposition it had been, I believe, 
suggested that Irving should be a director of the 



ARRANGEMENTS FOR AMERICA 333 

Company, but when he told me of this I said such 
a decided " No " that he acquiesced. I impressed 
on him that he must not have his name in any 
form as a participant in the venture mentioned. 
He was selling to the Company and sharing his 
outside profits with them ; and that such being 
the measure of his association, he should not be 
implicated beyond it. 

According to our previous plan of policy I was 
already in treaty with Charles Frohman regarding 
the tour in America, to begin in the autumn of 
that year. There was to be no change in this 
arrangement, as after the London season with 
Robespierre was to come this tour. The corre- 
spondence with Frohman had now reached a point 
when it was absolutely necessary that one or other 
of us should cross the Atlantic. A multitude of 
details had to be discussed, and as this was our 
first business transaction with Frohman, all had to 
be gone over carefully so as to insure a full under- 
standing of our mutual and individual interests 
and responsibilities. This could not possibly be 
done by cable, and there was no time for letters ; 
already we were nearly a year later than was usual 
with such arrangements. As we had to settle 
things face to face, and as his own affairs would not 
allow of Frohman' s leaving America at that time, 
I had to go to New York. I left London on 3ist 
January 1899, and arrived at New York in the 
Germanic on nth February after coming through 
the greatest storm in the North Atlantic ever re- 
corded. I left New York in the Teutonic on 22nd 
February, and arrived in London on ist March. 
During the time of my absence everything in which 



334 HENRY IRVING 

Irving was concerned had been completed. The 
contract between him and the Syndicate Company 
had been finally settled by the solicitors. The 
Syndicate Company had sold its rights to the 
Lyceum Theatre Company, which had been effec- 
tively floated and of which the whole capital had 
been subscribed. There was not anything left 
to me to do in the matter. 

On my return I was surprised to hear that, in 
addition to the amount of capital originally men- 
tioned in the provisional contract with Irving as 
that of the final Company to which his agreement 
was to be transferred on its flotation namely, 
170,000 in 100,000 6 per cent, preference and 
70,000 ordinary shares there appeared a sum of 
120,000 mortgage debentures given to the original 
freeholders as a part of the purchase money. This 
made the responsibility of the Company up to 
290,000. 

Later on I learned that Irving' s name had ap- 
peared in the prospectus as " Dramatic Adviser," 
a thing against which I had cautioned him. As 
a matter of fact he was never called by the direc- 
torate of the Company to fulfil the function. Once, 
he offered advice as to an engagement which 
advice was happily taken to considerable advan- 
tage to the Company. But so far as I know he 
was never asked for his advice, nor were the Com- 
pany's prospective arrangements ever made known 
to him in advance of the public intimation. I 
mention this here as it is, I think, advisable for 
his sake that it should be known. 

With the one exception of Gillette's engagement, 
he never had knowledge of, or act or part in any 



FAILING HEALTH 335 

of the business of the Lyceum Theatre Company 
outside those matters dependent on or arising from 
his own agreement with them. 

As to myself : for right or wrong, when once I 
had communicated to him my views on the ad- 
visability of his contracting with the Company at 
all, I had no part in the matter and no responsibility. 

After that illness of 1898 Irving's health was 
never the same as it had been before it. There 
was always a certain shortness of breath which, if 
it did not limit effort, made him careful how he 
exerted himself. It may have been partly this ; 
it may have been partly the wound to a proud 
nature which was entailed by the long series of 
misfortunes with their consequent losses ; but there 
was a certain shrinkage within himself during the 
last seven years of his life which was only too 
apparent to the eyes of those who loved him. To 
the outer world he still bore himself as ever : quiet, 
self-contained, masterful in his long purpose. Per- 
haps the little note of defiance which was added 
was the conscious recognition of the blows of Fate. 
But outside his own immediate circle this was not 
to be seen ; he was far too good an actor to betray 
himself. The bitterness was all for himself. He 
did not vent it on any one ; he did not blame any 
one. He took it as a good fighter takes a hard 
blow : he fought all the more valiantly. When he 
was stricken with pleurisy and pneumonia he was 
in his sixty-first year. He had been working hard 
for forty-two years ; strenuously for twenty-seven 
of them. Growing age more or less limits the 
resilient power ; labour so exacting and so pro- 
longed 'increases vastly the wear and tear of life. 



336 HENRY IRVING 

So we may, I think, take it that he was actually 
older than his years. Thus every little ailment told 
on him with undue force. Things that he used not to 
mind had now to be carefully considered. He had 
when working to give up many of his old pleasures 
so as to save himself for his work. Amongst these 
pleasures was that of sitting up late. Work had 
to be considered first, and last, and between ; and 
whatever would take from his strength had to be 
rigorously put aside. Thus life lost part of its charm 
for him. He felt it deeply ; and, all unknowing, 
was fostered that bitterness which had struck root 
already. It is the nature of strong men to fight 
harder through evil hours, and this was indeed a 
strong man. He would not give way on any point. 
Well he knew, with that deep, true instinct of his 
which is always the superior to mere logical thought, 
that to give way in anything however small is the 
beginning of the end 

" the little rift within the lute 
That by and by will make the music mute, 
And ever widening slowly silence all." 

His bearing through the last seven years was 
truly heroic. Now that it may be spoken of and 
known, I may say that I can recall in my own ex- 
perience nothing like it. Each day, each hour, had 
its own tally of difficulty to be overcome of pain 
or hardship to be borne of some form of self- 
denial to be exercised. For a long time before this 
he had a complaint which always goes on increasing 
a complaint common to actors and to all men 
and women who have to speak much ; the com- 
plaint which is called " clergyman's sore throat." 



CAUSE OF ILLNESS DISCOVERED 337 

Doctors classify it as Follicular Pharyngitis. It is 
as well as an irritating and often painful malady, 
a lowering condition from its constant loss of those 
secretions which make for perfect health. After 
his illness this seemed to grow to alarming pro- 
portions. Month by month, and year by year the 
weakening expectoration increased, till for the last 
three years he used some five hundred pocket-hand- 
kerchiefs in each week. Such a detail is a somewhat 
sickening one even to read what must it have been 
to the poor brave soul who through it all had to 
so bear himself as to conceal it from the world. 
He who. lived with the fierce light of publicity on 
him had eternally to play his part day and night, 
bearing his old brave front so that none might 
know. Whoso is worthy to wear the crown must 
have the courage and the patience to endure. I 
ask no pity for him. He would have scorned even 
with his dying breath to ask for himself pity from 
any of the sons of men. But to ask for pity and 
to deserve it are different things. It is my duty 
my privilege now that in the perspective of history, 
recent though it be, I am writing the true inward- 
ness of his life to speak the exact truth so that 
those who loved him, even those who were content 
to accept him unquestioned, should learn how un- 
falteringly brave he was. It was not till February 
1905 when after a hard night's work he fell fainting 
in the hall-way of the hotel at Wolverhampton 
that the true cause of his weakness was diagnosed. 
Fortunately he fell into the hands of one of the 
most able doctors in England, Dr. W. A. Lloyd- 
Davies of that town a man to whom grateful 
thanks are due for his loving care of my dear friend. 

II Y 



338 HENRY IRVING 

He it was that discovered that for more than six 
years ever since his attack of pleurisy and pneu- 
monia Irving had been coughing up pus from an 
unhealed lung. I ask no pardon for giving these 
medical details. It was prudent to be silent all 
those years ; but the time has gone for such re- 
ticence. It is well that the truth should be known. 

Many and many a time ; day or night ; in still- 
ness ; in travel ; in tropic heat such as now and 
again is experienced in early summer in America ; 
through raging blizzards ; in still cold when the 
thermometer registered down to figures below zero 
which would kill us in a breath did we have it 
in our moist atmosphere ; in dust-storms of rapid 
travel ; in the abounding dust of many theatres, 
the man had to toil unendingly. For others there 
was rest ; for him none. For others there was 
cessation, or at worst now and again a lull in the 
storm of responsibility ; for him none. Others 
could find occasional seclusion ; for him there was 
no such thing. His very popularity was an added 
strain and trial to increasing weakness and ill- 
health. But in all, and through all, he never 
faltered or thought of faltering. For the well- 
meaning friend or stranger there was the same 
ever-ready hand of friendship, the same old winning 
smile of welcome. He might have later to pay for 
the added strain entailed by his very kindness of 
heart, but he went on his way all the same. 

Henry Irving had undertaken to play the game 
of life ; and he played it well. Right up to the 
very last hour of his life, when he was at work 
he would not think of himself. He would play as 
he had ever played : to the best of his power ; 



THE LAST SEVEN YEARS 339 

in the fulness of his intention ; with the last ounce 
of his strength. 

If those who make it their business to direct 
the minds of youth knew what I know about him 
they would take this man this great Englishman 
as a shining light of endeavour ; as a living em- 
bodiment of that fine principle, " Whatsoever thy 
hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might." All 
his life long Irving worked for others for his art ; 
never for himself. If rewards came and they 
showered upon him he took them meekly without 
undue pride, without arrogance ; never as other 
than tributes beyond his worth. He made through- 
out years a great fortune, but nearly all of it he 
spent as it came on his art, and in helping his 
poorer brethren. His own needs were small. He 
lived in a few rooms, ate sparingly, drank mode- 
rately. He had no vices that I know of ; he was 
not extravagant ; did not gamble, was not ostenta- 
tious even in his charities. There are many widows 
and orphans who mourn his loss ; if only for his 
comforting sympathy and the helping of his kindly 
hand. In the sacred niche of many, many hearts 
there is a blank space which only a memory no 
longer an image fills. 

Requiescat in pace ! 



V 

In those last seven years of his life I was not 
able to see so much of him as I had been in the 
habit of doing throughout the previous twenty. We 



340 HENRY IRVING 

had each of us his own work to do, and the only 
way I could help him was to take on my own 
shoulders all the work I could. As he did not 
come to his office in the theatre regularly every 
day as he was accustomed to do, I used to go to 
him ; to his flat in Stratton Street when in London, 
to his hotel when we travelled. He did not often 
have supper in the old way. He still entertained 
to a reasonable amount, but such entertainments 
were generally in the shape of dinners on Sunday, 
the only day possible to him. When the play 
was over at night he would dress slowly, having 
a chat as he did so, for he loved to talk over his 
work past, present and future. When travelling 
he would often be reluctant to take his way to his 
lonely home ; if indeed a hotel can be called a home. 
When in London he would linger and linger ; the 
loneliness of his home made it in a degree a prison 
house. But all that while, night by night and 
year by year, he would stick to his purpose of 
saving himself for his work at any cost to him- 
self in the shape of loss of pleasure, of any form 
of self-abnegation. 

Thus it was that through those last seven years 
I saw less of his private life than I had hitherto 
done. My work became to save him all I could. 
Of course each day during working months, each 
night except at holiday times I would see him 
for hours ; and our relations were always the same. 
But the opportunities were different. Seldom now 
were there the old long meetings when occasion 
was full of chances for self-development, for self- 
illumination ; when idea leads on idea till presently 
the secret chambers of the soul are made manifest. 



INNER LIFE 341 

Seldom did one gather the half-formed thoughts and 
purposes which tell so much of the inner working 
of the mind. It was, of course, in part that hopes 
and purposes belonged to an earlier age. There is 
more life and spring in intentions that have illimi- 
table possibilities than in those that are manifestly 
bounded, if not cramped, by existing and adverse 
facts. But the effect was the same. The man, 
wearied by long toil and more or less deprived by 
age and health of the spurs of ambition, shrank 
somewhat into himself. 

This book is no mere panegyric ; it is not in- 
tended to be. For my own part, my love and ad- 
miration for Irving were such that nothing I could 
tell to others nothing that I can recall to myself 
could lessen his worth. I only wish that, so far 
as I can achieve it, others now or hereafter may 
see him with my eyes. For well I know that if 
they do, his memory shall not lack. He was a 
man with all a man's weaknesses and mutabilities 
as well as a man's strong qualities. Had he not 
had in his own nature all the qualities of natural 
man how could he have for close on half a century 
embodied such forces general and distinctive in 
such a long series of histrionic characters whose 
fidelity to natural type became famous. I have the 
feeling strong upon me that the more Irving' s inner 
life is known, the better he must stand in the minds 
and hearts of all to whom his name, his work, and 
his fame are of interest. 

The year 1899 was so overwhelmingly busy a one 
for him that he had little time to think. But the 
next year despite the extraordinary success which 
attended his work he began to feel the loss of his 



342 HENRY IRVING 

own personal sway over the destinies of the Lyceum. 
There was in truth no need for worrying. The 
work of that year made for the time an extraordi- 
nary change in his fortunes. In the short season 
of fifteen weeks at the Lyceum the gross receipts 
exceeded twenty-eight thousand pounds. Five 
weeks tour in the Provinces realised over eleven 
thousand pounds. And the tour in America of 
twenty-nine weeks reached the amazing total of over 
half a million dollars. To be exact $537,154.25. 
The exchange value in which all our American 
tour calculations were made, was $4.84 per i. 
So that the receipts become in British money, 
110,982, 45. gd. leaving a net profit of over 
thirty- two thousand pounds. 

But the feeling of disappointment was not to be 
soothed by material success. Money, except as a 
means to an end, never appealed to Irving. We 
knew afterwards that the bitterness that then came 
upon him, and which lasted in lessening degree for 
some three years, was due in the main to his surely 
fading health. To him any form of lingering ill- 
health was a novelty. All his life up till then he 
had been amazingly strong. Not till after he was 
sixty did he know what it was to have toothache 
in ever so small a degree. I do not think that he 
ever knew at all what a headache was like. To 
such a man, and specially to one who has been in 
the habit of taxing himself to the full of his strength, 
restriction of effort from any cause brings a sense 
of inferiority. So far as I can estimate it, for he 
never hinted at it much less put it in words, Irving' s 
tinge of bitterness was a sort of protest against Fate, 
for he never visited it on any of those around him. 



THE BEGINNING OF THE END 343 

Indeed in any other man it would hardly have 
been noticeable ; but Irving' s nature was so sweet, 
and he was so really thoughtful for his fellow- 
workers of all classes, that anything which clouded 
it was a concern to all. 

As his health grew worse the bitterness began to 
pass away ; and for the last two years of his life 
his nature, softened however to a new tenderness, 
went back to its old dignified calm. 



VI 

In the spring of 1905 came the beginning of the 
end. He had since his illness gone through the 
rigours of two American winters without seemingly 
ill effect. But now he began to lose strength. 
Still, despite of all he would struggle on, and acted 
nightly with all his old self-unsparing energy and 
fire. The audiences saw little difference ; he alone 
it was who suffered. Since the beginning of the 
new century his great ventures had not been success- 
ful. Coriolanus in 1901 and Dante in 1903 were 
costly and unsuccessful. Both plays were out of 
joint with the time. The public in London, the 
Provinces and America would not have them ; 
though the latter play ran well for a few weeks 
before the public of London made up their minds 
that it was an inferior play. In both pieces Irving 
himself made personal success ; it was the play in 
each case that was not popular. This was shown 
everywhere by the result of the change of bill ; 
whenever any other play was put up the house was 
crowded. But a great organisation like Irving' s 
requires perpetual sustenance at fairly high pressure. 



344 HENRY IRVING 

The five years of the new century saw a gradual 
oozing away of accumulation. The " production 
account " alone of that time exceeded twenty-five 
thousand pounds. 

Had he been able to take a prolonged rest, say 
for a year, he might have completely recovered from 
the injury to his lung. But it is the penalty of 
public success that he who has achieved it must 
keep it. The slightest break is dangerous ; to fall 
back or to lose one's place in the running is to be 
forgotten. He therefore made up his mind to 
accept the position of failing health and strength 
and set a time limit for his further efforts. 



VII 

The time for his retirement he fixed to be at the 
conclusion of his having been fifty years on the 
stage. He made the announcement at a supper 
given to him by the Manchester Art Club on June I, 
1904. This would give him two years in which to 
take farewell of the public. The time, though 
seeming at the first glance to be a generous one, 
was in reality none too long. There were only 
about forty working weeks in each year, eighty 
altogether. Of these the United States and Canada 
would absorb thirty. The Provinces would require 
three tours of some twelve weeks each. London 
would have fourteen or fifteen weeks in two 
divisions, during which would be given all the 
available plays in his repertoire. 

At the conclusion of the tour we arranged with 
Mr. Charles Frohman, who secured for us the 
American dates for which we asked. We had 



A TOUCHING FAREWELL 345 

made out the tour ourselves, choosing the best 
towns and taking them in such sequence that the 
railway travel should be minimised. All was ready, 
and on igth September we began at Cardiff our 
series of farewell visits. The Welsh people are by 
nature affectionate and emotional. The last night 
at Cardiff was a touching farewell. This was re- 
peated at Swansea with a strange addition : when 
the play was over and the calls finished the audience 
sat still in their places and seemingly with one 
impulse began to sing. They are all fine part- 
singers in those regions, and it was a strange and 
touching effect when the strains of Newman's beau- 
tiful hymn, " Lead kindly light/' filled the theatre. 
Then followed their own national song, " Hen fwlad 
fen Hadne " " Land of my fathers." 

Irving was much touched. He had come out 
before the curtain to listen when the singing began ; 
and when after the final cheering of the audience 
he went back to his dressing-room the tears were 
still wet on his cheeks. 

During that tour at half the places the visit was 
of farewell. For the tour had been arranged before 
Irving had made up his mind about retiring and it 
was the intention that the last tour of all, before 
the final short season in London, should be amongst 
the eight provincial cities. 

VIII 

In one of the towns then visited and where the 
visit was to be the final one, there was a very re- 
markable occasion. At Sunderland he had made 
his first appearance in 1856, and now the city wished 



346 HENRY IRVING 

to mark the circumstance of his last appearance in 
a worthy way. A public banquet was organised at 
which he was presented with an Address on behalf of 
the authorities and the townspeople. The function 
took place on the afternoon of Friday, October 28, 
1904. The occasion was of special interest to 
Irving. For weeks beforehand his mind was full 
of it for it brought back a host of old memories. 
He talked often with me of those old days, and 
every little detail seemed to come back vividly in 
that wonderful memory of his which could always 
answer to whatever call was made upon it. Amongst 
the little matters of those days when all things were 
of transcendent importance was one which had 
its full complement of chagrin and pain : In the 
preliminary bill regarding the New Lyceum Theatre, 
where the names of all the Company were given, 
his own name was wrongly spelled. It was given 
as " Mr. Irvine." At that time the name in reality 
did not matter much. It was not known in any 
way ; it was not even his own by birthright, or 
as later by the Queen's Patent. But it was the 
name he hoped and intended to make famous ; 
and the check at the very start seemed a cruel 
blow. Of course the error was corrected, and on 
the opening night all was right. 

In his early life he was very unfortunate regard- 
ing the proper spelling of his name. I find in the 
bill of his first appearance in Glasgow at the Dunlop 
Street Theatre his name thus given in the cast of 
the great spectacular play, given on Easter Monday, 
April 9, 1869, The Indian Revolt : 

" Achmet, a Hindoo attached to the Nana, by Mr. 
Irwig (his first appearance)." 



ALARMING ILLNESS 347 

I do not think that these two mistakes ever quite 
left his memory certainly he was always very par- 
ticular about his name being put in the bill exactly 
as he had arranged it. 

The Sunderland function went off splendidly. 
Everything went so well that the whole affair 
was a delight to him and gave the city of his 
first appearance a new and sweet claim on his 
memory. 

IX 

Another provincial tour was arranged for the 
spring of 1905. It began at Portsmouth on 23rd 
January and was to go on to 8th April, when it 
would conclude at Wigan. But severe and sudden 
illness checked it in the middle of the fifth week. 
The passage through the South and West had been 
very trying, for in addition to seven performances 
a week and many journeys there were certain public 
hospitalities to which he had been pledged. At 
Plymouth, lunch on Wednesday with the Admiral, 
Sir Edward Seymour ; and on Thursday with the 
Mayor, Mr. Wyiicotes, and others in the Plymouth 
Club. At Exeter, on Wednesday a Public Address 
and Reception in the Guildhall. Two days later 
at Bath a ceremony of unveiling a memorial to 
Quin the actor, followed by a civic lunch with the 
Mayor, Mr. John, in the Guildhall. On the follow- 
ing Tuesday, 2ist February, a Public Address was 
to be presented in the Town Hall of Wolverhampton 
under the auspices of the Mayor, Mr. Berrington. 

But by this time Irving had become so alarmingly 
ill that we were very seriously anxious. After the 



348 HENRY IRVING 

performance of The Lyons Mail at Boscombe on 
3rd February he had been very ill and feeble, though 
he had so played that the audience were not aware 
of his state of health. The note in my diary for 
that day is : 

" H. I. fearfully done up, could hardly play. At 
end in collapse. Could hardly move or breathe." 

His wonderful recuperative power, however, stood 
to him. Next day he played The Merchant of Venice 
in the morning and Waterloo and The Bells at night. 

The function at Bath was very trying. The 
weather was bitterly cold, yet he stood bareheaded 
in the street speaking to a vast crowd. This required 
a great voice effort. It was a striking sight, for not 
only was the street packed solid with people, but 
every window was full and the high roofs were like 
clusters of bees. Our journey on the following 
Sunday was from Bath to Wolverhampton. Much 
snow had fallen and there was intense frost. So 
difficult was the railroading that our " special " 
was forty-five minutes late in a scheduled journey 
of three hours and ten minutes. In that journey 
Irving got a chill which began to tell at once on 
his strength. On Monday night he played Waterloo 
and The Bells. My note is : 

" H. I. very weak, but got through all right." 

But that night in going into the hotel he fainted 
for the first time in his life ! He did not know he 
had fainted until I told him the next morning. 
When the doctor saw him in the morning he said 
that he would not possibly be able to go to the 
Town Hall in the afternoon and play at night ; that 



MUST HAVE REST 349 

he was really fit for neither, but he might get through 
one of them. Becket was fixed for that night, and 
it was comparatively light work for him. That 
night he played all right, but at the end was done 
up, and short of breath. The next night he played 
The Merchant of Venice, and at the end of the play 
made his speech of farewell to Wolverhampton. 
But his condition of illness was such that we decided 
that the tour must be abandoned. Dr. Lloyd- 
Davies was with him in the theatre all the evening 
and did him yeoman's service. The next day Dr. 
Foxwell of Birmingham came over for consultation. 
After their examination the following bulletin was 
issued : 

" It is imperatively necessary that Sir Henry Irving 
shall not act for at least two months from this date. 

" ARTHUR FOXWELL, M.D. 

"W. ALLAN LLOYD-DAVIES, L.R.C.P., F.R.C.S." 

On I7th March I visited Irving at Wolverhampton. 
He was looking infinitely better and we had a drive 
before luncheon. The two doctors had another con- 
sultation and it was decided that Irving must not 
go to America as arranged for the following autumn. 
Loveday came down by a later train, and he and 
Irving and I consulted as to future arrangements. 
We returned to London next day and a few days 
later Irving left Wolverhampton for Torquay, where 
he remained till igth April. 

In the meantime I had seen Charles Frohman and 
postponed our American tour for a year. 



350 HENRY IRVING 

X 

A short season of six weeks had been arranged 
for Drury Lane. This began on 2gth April. There 
were three weeks of Becket and two of The Merchant 
of Venice. In the last week were three nights of 
Waterloo and Becket and three nights of Louis XI. 
All went well for the six weeks. The plays chosen 
were the least onerous in Irving' s repertoire ; he 
was none the worse for the effort. 

The last night of the season, June 10, 1905, was one 
never to be forgotten by any one who was present. 
It almost seemed as if the public had some pre- 
cognition that it was the last time they would 
see Irving play. The house was crowded in every 
part an enormous audience, the biggest Irving 
ever played to in London and full of wild en- 
thusiasm. An inspiring audience ! Irving felt it 
and played Louis XI. magnificently ; he never 
played better in his life. The moment of his 
entrance was the signal for a roar of welcome, pro- 
longed to an extraordinary degree. Something of 
the same kind marked the close of each act. At the 
end the audience simply went mad. It was a scene 
to be present at once in a lifetime. The calls were 
innumerable. Time after time the curtain had to be 
raised to ever the same wild roar. It was marvellous 
how the strength of the audience held out so long. 

It had been arranged that on that night at the 
close of the play the presentation of a Loving Cup 
by the workmen of all the theatres throughout the 
kingdom should take place on the stage. The re- 
presentatives of the various theatres assembled in 
due course, a mass of some hundred of them. As 



LAST PERFORMANCE IN LONDON 351 

there were to be some speeches, a moment of quiet 
was necessary ; we tried turning down the lights 
in the theatre, for still the audience kept cheering. 
It never ceased that prolonged insistent note of 
perpetual renewals which once heard has a place 
in memory. After a while we did a thing I never 
saw done before : the lights were turned quite out. 
But still the audience remained cheering through 
the black darkness of the house. 

Irving with his usual discernment and courtesy 
recognised the right thing to do. He ordered the 
curtain to go up once more, and stepping in front 
of the stage said, so soon as the wild roar of re- 
newed strength, stilled on purpose, would allow him : 

" Ladies and gentlemen, We have a little 
ceremony of our own to take place on the stage 
to-night. I think, however, it will be the mind 
of all my friends on the stage that you should 
join in our little ceremony. So with your 
permission we will go on with it." 

Another short sharp cheer and then sudden 
stillness. 

The presentation was made in due form and 
then the curtain still remaining up, for there 
was to be no more formal barrier that night the 
audience, cheering all the time, melted away. 

It was a worthy finish to a lifetime of loving 
appreciation of the art- work of a great man. 

This was Irving' s last regular London perform- 
ance, and with the exception of his playing Waterloo 
for the benefit of his old friend, Lionel Brough, at 
His Majesty's Theatre on I5th June, the last time 
he ever appeared in London. 



352 HENRY IRVING 



XI 

The autumn tour of that year, 1905, was fixed 
for ten weeks and a half, to commence at Sheffield 
on 2nd October. The tour commenced very well. 
There were fine houses despite the fact that it was 
the week of the Musical Festival. On Tuesday, 3rd, 
the Lord Mayor, Sir Joseph Jonas, gave a great 
luncheon for him in the Town Hall. Irving was 
in good form and spoke well. There was nothing 
noticeable in his playing or regarding his health 
all that week. On Saturday night there was a big 
house and much enthusiasm. Irving seemed much 
touched as he said farewell. From Sheffield we went 
on to Bradford. 

The Monday and Tuesday night at Bradford 
went all right. Irving did not seem ill or ex- 
tremely weak. We had by now been accustomed 
to certain physical feebleness except when he was 
on the stage. On Wednesday the Mayor, Mr. 
Priestley, was giving a big lunch for him in the 
Town Hall at which he was to be presented with 
a Public Address. I joined him at his hotel at 
a little past one o'clock and we went together to 
the Town Hall. He seemed very feeble that morn- 
ing, and as we went slowly up the steep steps he 
paused several times to get his breath. He had 
become an adept at concealing his physical weakness 
on such occasions. He would seize on some point 
of local or passing interest and make inquiries about 
it, so that by the time the answer came he would 
have been rested. There was a party of some fifty 
gentlemen, all friends, all hearty, all delightful. On 




M 



HE WANTED TO KNOW 353 

the presentation of the Address he spoke well, but 
looked sadly feeble. 

That night we played Louis XI. He got through 
his work all right, but was very exhausted after 
it. The bill of the next night was the one we 
dreaded, The Bells. I had been with him at his 
hotel for an hour in the morning and we had got 
through our usual work together. He seemed 
feeble, but made no complaint. There was a great 
house that night. When Irving arrived he seemed 
exceedingly feeble though not ill. In his dressing- 
room I noticed that he did that which I had never 
known him do before : sit down in a listless way 
and delay beginning to dress for his part. He 
seemed tired, tired ; tired not for an hour but for 
a lifetime. He played, however, just as usual. 
There was no perceptible diminution of his strength 
of his fire. But when the play was over he was 
absolutely exhausted. Whilst he was dressing I 
went in and sat with him, having previously given 
instructions to the Master Machinist to send The 
Bells back to London. When I told Irving what 
I had done he acquiesced in it and seemed relieved. 
He had played The Bells against the strong re- 
monstrances of Loveday and myself. Knowing 
him as I did, I came to the conclusion that his 
doing so was to prove himself. He had felt weak 
but would not yield to the suspicion ; he wanted 
to know. 



It may be wondered at or even asked why Henry 
Irving was allowed to play at all, being in his then 
state of weakness. 

II Z 



354 HENRY IRVING 

In the first place, Irving was his own master, 
and took his own course entirely. He was of a 
very masterful nature and took on his own shoulders 
the full responsibility of his acts. He would listen 
to the advice of those whom he trusted naturally, 
or had learned to trust ; but he was, within the 
limits of possibility, the final arbiter of matters 
concerning himself in which there was any power 
of choice. The forces of a strong nature have to 
be accepted en bloc ; these very indomitable forces 
of resolution and persistence of the disregard of 
pain or weariness to himself which had given him 
his great position ruled him in weakness as in 
strength. His will was the controlling power of 
his later as of his earlier days. 

Moreover, he could, not stop. To do so would have 
been final extinction. His affairs were such that 
it was necessary to go on for the sake of himself 
in such span of life as might be left to him, and 
for the sake of others. The carrying out of his 
purpose of going through his farewell tours would 
mean the realisation of a fortune ; without such 
he would begin the unproductive period of age in 
poverty. Accustomed as he had been for now 
many years to carry out his wishes in his own way : 
to do whatever he had set his heart on and to help 
his many friends and comrades, to be powerless 
in such matters would have been to him a never- 
ending pain of chagrin. All this, of course over and 
above the ties and duties of his family and his own 
personal needs. He was a very proud man, and the 
inevitable blows to his pride would have been to 
him worse than death especially when such might 
be obviated by labour, howsoever arduous or 



UNWONTED MEEKNESS 355 

dangerous the same might be. We who knew him 
well recognised all this. All that we couldfdo was 
to keep our own counsel, and to help him to the 
best of our respective powers. 



XII 

The next morning, I3th October, I went to Irving 
at half -past twelve. Loveday as had been arranged 
came at one o'clock. We three discussed matters 
ahead of us fully. We decided on the changes to 
be made in the bill for the following week when we 
were to play in Birmingham. Irving seemed quite 
calm, and, under the circumstances, cheerful. He 
endorsed the decision of the previous evening as to 
leaving The Bells out of the repertoire for the re- 
mainder of the tour ; he seemed pleased at not 
having to play the piece for the present. We then 
decided on such other arrangements as were conse- 
quently necessary. In the course of our conversa- 
tion Irving said : 

" Of course the American tour is absolutely im- 
possible ! It will have to be abandoned ! But time 
enough for that ; we can see to it later." 

That morning he was undoubtedly feeble. He 
was so unusually amenable in accepting the changes 
of his plans that when we were walking back I 
commented on it to Loveday, saying : 

" He acquiesced too easily ; I never knew him so 
meek before. I don't like it ! " 

When he came down to the theatre that night 
Irving seemed much better and stronger, and was 
more cheerful than he had been for some time. 



356 HENRY IRVING 

He played well ; and though he was somewhat 
exhausted, was infinitely less so than he had been 
on the previous evening. There was no speech that 
night, so that the last words he spoke on the stage 
were Becket's last words in the play : 

" Into Thy hands, O Lord ! into Thy hands ! " 

I sat in his room with him while he dressed. He 
was quite cheerful, and we chatted freely. I thought 
that he had turned the corner and was already, with 
that marvellous recuperative power of his, on the 
way to get strong again. I told him that it was 
my opinion that now he was rid of the apprehension 
of having to play The Bells he would be himself 
soon : 

" You have been feeling the taking up of your 
work again after an absence of it for four months, 
the longest time of rest in your life. Now you 
have got into your stride again, and work will be 
easy ! " 

He thought for a moment and then said quietly : 

" I really think that is so ! " Then he seemed 
to get quite cheery. 

Percy Burton, who arranged our advance matters, 
had in answer to my telegram come over from 
Birmingham, so that he might be fully told of our 
prospective changes. He was coming home to 
supper with me before he got the train back to 
Birmingham. I had asked Irving if he wanted to 
see him ; but he said he did not, as Burton quite 
knew what to do. Then, always thoughtful of 
others, he added : 

" But if he is going by the one o'clock train you 
must not wait here. He will want time to take his 
supper." I stood up to go and he held out his hand 



TEN MINUTES TO TWELVE 357 

to say good-night. Afterwards, the remembrance 
of that affectionate movement came back to me 
with gratitude, for it was not usual ; when men 
meet every day and every night, handshaking is 
not a part of the routine of friendly life. As I 
went out he said to me : 

" Muffle up your throat, old chap. It is bitterly 
cold to-night and you have a cold. Take care of 
yourself ! Good-night ! God bless you ! " 

Those were the last words that I heard Henry 
Irving speak ! 



Burton and I were at supper when a carriage 
drove rapidly up to the door of my lodging. I 
suspected that it was something for me and opened 
the door myself at once. Mr. Sheppard, one of my 
assistants who always attended to Irving' s private 
matters, stepped in saying quickly : 

" I think you had better come down to the Midland 
Hotel at once. Sir Henry is ill. He fainted in the 
hall just as he did at Wolverhampton. When the 
doctor came I rushed off for you ! " We all jumped 
into the carriage and hurried as fast as we could go 
to the hotel. 

In the hall were some twenty men grouped round 
Irving who lay at full length on the floor. One of 
the doctors, there were three of them there then, 
told me quietly that he was dead. He had died just 
two minutes before. The clock in the hall showed 
the time then as eight minutes to twelve. So that 
he died at ten minutes to twelve. 

It was almost impossible to believe, as he lay 
there with his eyes open, that he was really dead. 



358 HENRY IRVING 

I knelt down by him and felt his heart to know for 
myself if it was indeed death. But all was sadly 
still. His body was quite warm. Walter Collinson, 
his faithful valet, was sitting on the floor beside 
him, crying. He said to me through his sobs : 

" He died in my arms ! " 

His face looked very thin and the features sharp 
as he lay there with his chest high and his head 
fallen back ; but there was none of the usual un- 
gracefulness of death. The long iron-grey hair had 
fallen back, showing the great height of his rounded 
forehead. The bridge of his nose stood out sharp 
and high. I closed his eyes myself ; but as I had 
had no experience in such a matter I asked one of 
the doctors, who kindly with deft fingers straightened 
the eyelids. Then we carried him upstairs to his 
room and laid him on his bed. 

I had to send a host of telegrams at once to 
inform the various members of his family and the 
press. The latter had to go with what speed we 
could, for the hour of his death was such that there 
was no local information. Loveday arrived at the 
hotel after we had carried him to his room. He 
was indeed greatly distressed and in bitter sorrow. 

The actual cause of Irving's death was physical 
weakness ; he lost a breath, and had not strength 
to recover it. 

Sheppard told me that when Irving was leaving the 
theatre he had said to him that he had better come 
to the hotel with him, as was sometimes his duty. 
When he got into the carriage he had sat with his 
back to the horses ; this being his usual custom by 
which he avoided a draught. He was quite silent 
during the short journey. When he got out of 



LYING DESOLATE AND LONELY 359 

the carriage he seemed very feeble, and as he passed 
through the outer hall of the hotel seemed uncertain 
of step. He stumbled slightly and Sheppard held 
him up. Then when he got as far as the inner hall 
he sat down on a bench for an instant. 

That instant was the fatal one. In the previous 
February at Wolverhampton, when he had suffered 
from a similar attack of weakness, he had fallen 
down flat. In that attitude Nature asserted herself, 
and the lungs being in their easiest position allowed 
him to breathe mechanically. Now the seated 
attitude did not give the opportunity for automatic 
effort. The syncope grew worse ; he slipped on 
the ground. But it was then too late. By the 
time the doctor arrived, after only a few minutes 
in all, he had passed too far into the World of 
Shadows to be drawn back by any effort of man or 
science. The heart beat faintly, and more faintly 
still. And then came the end. 



Before I left the hotel in the grey of the morning 
I went into the bedroom. It wrung my heart to 
see my dear old friend lie there so cold and white 
and still. It was all so desolate and lonely, as so 
much of his life had been. So lonely that in the 
midst of my own sorrow I could not but rejoice at 
one thing : for him there was now Peace and Rest. 

I was at the hotel again at 7.30, and then went 
to meet his eldest son, H. B. Irving, at the Great 
Northern Station at 9.35. He had received my 
telegram in time to start by the newspaper train. 
His other son, Laurence, with his wife arrived later 
in the day ; my telegram to him had not arrived 



360 HENRY IRVING 

in time to allow his coming till the morning train. 
The undertaker had come in the morning at nine, 
and the embalming was done before Irving' s sons 
had arrived. 

That afternoon all the Company, including the 
workmen, came to see him. It was a very touching 
and harrowing time for all, for he was much beloved 
by every one. 

At seven o'clock in the evening the body was laid 
in the lead coffin. I was present alone with the 
undertakers and saw the lead coffin sealed. This 
was then placed in the great oak coffin which an 
hour later was taken privately through the yard of 
the Midland Hotel by a devious way to the Great 
Northern Station so as to avoid publicity ; for the 
streets were thronged with waiting crowds. At 
Bradford, Saturday is a half day, and large numbers 
of people are abroad. The ex-Mayor, Mr. Lupton, 
who had entertained Irving in the Town Hall at 
his previous visit, kindly arranged with the Chief 
Constable that all should be in order in the streets. 
All day throughout the City the flags had been at 
half-mast, and there was everywhere a remarkable 
silence through which came the mournful sound of 
the minute-bells from seemingly all the churches. 

At half-past nine we left the hotel to drive to 
the railway station. The appearance of the streets 
and the demeanour of the crowd I shall never for- 
get ; and I never want to. Everywhere was a sea of 
faces, all the more marked as all hats were off as 
we drove slowly along. Street after street of silent 
humanity ; and in all that crowd nothing but grief 
and respect. One hardly realised its completeness 
till when, now and then, a sob broke the stillness. 



THE SILENT CROWD 361 

To say that it was moving would convey but a 
poor idea of that attitude of the crowd ; it was 
poignant harrowing overwhelming. In silence 
the crowd stood back ; in silence, without hurry or 
pushing or stress of any kind, closed around us and 
followed on. It was the same at the railway 
station ; everywhere the silent crowd, holding back 
respectfully, uncovered. 

For a quarter of a century I had been accustomed 
when travelling with Irving to see the rushing crowd 
closing in with cheers and waving of hats and 
kerchiefs ; to watch a moving sea of hands thrust 
forward for him to shake ; to hear the roar of the 
cheering crowd kept up till the train began to move, 
and then to hear it dying away from our ears not 
from cessation but from mere distance. And now 
this silence ! No nobler or more loving tribute 
than the silence of that mighty crowd could ever 
be paid to the memory of one who has passed away. 
Were I a Yorkshireman I should have been proud 
of Bradford on that day. It moves me strangely 
to think of it yet. 



XIII 

The Dean and Chapter of Westminster Abbey 
were memorialised by a number of persons of im- 
portance to have a Public Funeral with burial in 
the Abbey. So important were the signatories that 
no difficulty was experienced. The only condition 
made was that the body should be cremated, as a 
rule had been established that henceforth no actual 
body should be buried in the Abbey. The ground 



362 HENRY IRVING 

had in the past been so broken that for new graves 
it would be necessary to go down into the concrete, 
which might injure the structure. The Abbey 
authorities were most kind in all ways. Dean 
Armitage Robinson gave from his sick bed his 
approval, and Sub-Dean Duckworth and Arch- 
deacon Wilber force made all arrangements. Indeed 
the Dean on the day of the funeral got up in order 
to perform the burial service. 

The Baroness and Mr. Burdett-Coutts, knowing 
that Irving's flat in 17 Stratton Street was not 
suited to receive the crowds who would wish to 
pay their respects, kindly placed at the disposal of 
his family their spacious house in Piccadilly and 
Stratton Street. Here on Thursday igth he lay 
in state. The great dining-room was made a 
Chapelle ardente, and here were placed the many, 
many flowers that were sent. There was a veritable 
sea of them wreaths, crosses, symbolic forms of 
all kinds. On the coffin over the heart lay the 
floral cross sent by the Queen. Attached to it was 
a broad ribbon on which she had written as her 
tribute to the Dead the last words he had spoken 
on the stage : 

" Into Thy hands, O Lord ; into Thy hands." 

On a little table in front of the coffin lay the 
wreath sent by Ellen Terry. Behind, hung high 
along the end wall of the lofty room, was the Pall 
" sent anonymously " as the card on it declared. 
Surely such a pall was never before seen. It was 
entirely wrought of leaves of fresh laurel. Thou- 
sands upon thousands of them went to its making 
up. It was so large that at the funeral when 



PUBLIC FUNERAL 363 

fourteen pall-bearers marched with the coffin it 
covered all the space and hung to the ground, 
before, behind, and on either side. 

Through that room all day long passed a silent 
and mournful crowd of all classes and degrees ; 
and at any moment of the time a single glance at 
their faces would have shown what love and sorrow 
had brought them there. 



XIV 



The Public. Funeral took place on Friday, 2oth 
October. It would be impossible in a book of this 
size to give details of it, even if such belonged 
to the scope of my work. Suffice it that all the 
honours which can be paid to the illustrious dead 
were observed. The King had sent to represent 
him, according to the custom of such ceremonies, 
Irving's old and dear friend, General the Right 
Hon. Sir Dighton Probyn, V.C. The Queen's 
formal representative was Earl Howe ; but her 
personal tribute was the beautiful cross of flowers 
which lay on the actor's coffin. The Prince and 
Princess of Wales were also represented. Others 
were there also whom men call " great " chiefs 
of all great endeavours. Ministers and soldiers, 
ambassadors and judges, peers and great merchants, 
and many sorrowing exponents of all the Arts. 
To name them would be impossible ; to try to 
describe the ceremony unavailing. But the place 
for all this is not here ; it belongs now to the 
history of the Age and Nation. 



364 HENRY IRVING 



II 

All the previous night the coffin had lain in the 
little chapel of St. Faith between the South Tran- 
sept wherein is the Poets' Corner where Irving was 
to be laid, and the Chapter-House where the 
mourners were to assemble. The funeral had been 
arranged for noon, but hours before that time every 
approach to the Abbey was thronged with silent 
crowds. There was a hush in the air through 
which the roar of the traffic in the streets seemed 
to come modified, as though it had been intercepted 
by that belt of silence. Slowly, imperceptibly, like 
shadows in their silence, the crowds gathered ; a 
sombre mass closing as if with a black ring the 
whole precincts of the Cathedral. 

Noon found the interior of the edifice a solid 
mass of people, save where the passage-way up 
the Nave and Choir was marked with masses of 
white flowers. Wreaths and crosses and bunches 
of flowers must have been sent in hundreds 
thousands, for in addition to those within, both 
sides of the Cloister walks were banked with them. 

Who could adequately describe that passing from 
the Chapter-House whence the funeral procession 
took its way through the South and West Cloister 
Walk, down the South Aisle and up the Nave and 
Choir till the coffin was rested before the Sanctuary ; 
the touching music, in which now and again the 
sweet childish treble the purest sound on earth 
seemed to rend the mourners' very hearts ; the 
mighty crowd, silent, with bowed heads ; every- 
where white faces with eyes that wept. 



"LIVING SILENCE" 365 

Oh that crowd ! Never in the world was greater 
tribute to any man. The silence ! The majestic 
silence, for it transcended negation and became 
positive from its dormant force. " Not dead 
silence, but living silence ! " as the dead man's old 
companion, Sir Edward Russell, said in words that 
should become immortal. All thoughts of self were 
forgotten ; the lesser feelings of life seemed to have 
passed away in that glory of triumphant sorrow. 
Eye and heart and brain and memory went with 
the Dead as to the solemn music the mournful pro- 
cession passed along. Surely a lifetime of devotion 
must have gone to the crowning of those long- 
drawn seconds. To one moving through that 
divine alley-way of sympathetic sorrow it seemed 
as though the serried ranks on either hand, seen 
in the dimness of that October day, went back and 
back to the very bounds of the thinking world. 

As from the steps of the Sanctuary came the first 
words of the Service for the Burial of the Dead, a 
bright gleam of winter sunshine burst through the 
storied window of the Southern Transept and lit 
up the laurel pall till it glistened like gold. 

And then for a little while few could see anything 
except dimly through their tears. 

When the last words of the Benediction had been 
spoken over his grave, there came from the Organ- 
loft the first solemn notes of Handel's noble Dead 
March. The great organ had been supplemented 
by military music, and as the mournful notes of 
the trumpets rose they seemed to cling to the arches 
and dim corners of the great Cathedral, tearing 
open our hearts with endless echoes. And then the 
solemn booming of the muffled drums seemed to 



366 HENRY IRVING 

recall us to the life that has to be lived on, how- 
soever lonely or desolate it may be. 



" The song of woe 
Is after all an earthly song.' 



The trumpets summon us, and the drums beat 
the time of the onward march quick or slow as 
Duty calls. 

March ! March ! 



INDEX 



INDEX 



ABBEY, Edwin A., R.A., i. 321 ; ii. 

79-85 

Abbey, Henry E., i. 317 
Aberdeen, Countess of, i. 322 
Aberdeen, Earl of, i. 322, 340-341 
Absolute, Captain, i. 1-5 
" Acting, an Art," ii. 247, 263, 265 
" Acting and Actors," ii. 157-158 
Acting, Old School and New, i. 12- 

24 

" Actor-Managers," i. 47 
" Actors and Acting," ii. 265 
Actor's Note," "An, ii. 157-158 
Adams, Judge, i. 318 
Addresses by Irving, ii. 244-265 
Ade, George, i. 318 
Adventures, ii. 266-296 
Agnew, Sir Wm., Bart., i. 318 
Aide, Hamilton, i. 323 
Aitken, J. A., R.S.A., i. 323 
Albermarle, Earl of, i. 320 
Albery, James, i. 7, 315 
Alcester, Lord, i. 319 
Aldrich, Thomas Bailey, i. 316; ii. 53 
Aldworth, i. 212-221, 232-239 
Alexander, Geo., i. 322 ; ii. 130 
Alexandra, Queen, i. 173-174, 175, 

268 ; ii. 213-214, 225, 362 
Allingham, Mrs. H., i. 234, 318 
Alma-Tadema, Sir Laurence, R.A., 

i. 325 ; ii. 65-72, 152,245 
Amber Heart, The, ii. 301 
America, Visits to, i. 285-288 ; ii. 

229-237 

American Reporters, i. 297-303 
Ames, Col., i. 320 
Anderson, Mary, i. 325 
Applause, Effect of, i. 74 
Arlton, Frank, ii. 188-189 
Arnott, A., i. 63-69, 142-143 
Arnold, Sir Arthur, ii. 240 
Arnold, Sir Edwin, i. 227, 326 
Arnold,,W. T., i. 316 
Arrowsmith, J. W., i. 326 
Art du Comedien," " L', ii. 158 
Art of Acting, The, ii. 158, 253-260, 

264 
Art-sense, i. 144-147 

II 



Arthur, Gen. Chester A. (President, 

U.S.A.), ii. 229 
Arthur, Robert, i. 319 
Ashbourne, Lord Chancellor, i. 323 
Asif Kadr Saiyid Wasif Ali Mirza, i. 

339 

Ashwell, Lena, i. 255, 322 
Asquith, Rt. Hon. H. H., i. 316 
Athenaeum Club, i. 243 
Aubertin, Mr., i. 352 
Austin, Alfred (Poet Laureate), i. 

323 ; ii. 255 
Austin, L. F., i. 316 
Ayling, John, i. 317 

BABA Khem Singh Bedi, i. 339 
Baby in Henry VIII., i. 116-117 
Bach, Walter, ii. 146 
Bacon and Shakespeare, Tennyson 

on, i. 235 

Baghos Pacha Nubar, H.E., i. 317 
Bailey, Lieut. (U.S.N.), i. 326 
Bailey, Sir William, i. 322 
Baillie-Hamilton, Sir Wm., i. 335 
Baker, Bernard N., i. 322 
Balance of Comfort, The, ii. 137, 301 
Baldwin, Admiral (U.S.A.), i. 322 
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J., i. 316 
Ball, John Meredith, i. 112-113 
Ballantine, Serjeant, i. 317 
Bancroft, George, i. 317 
Bancroft, Lady, i. 318 
Bancroft, Sir Squire, i. 318 ; ii. 141, 

1 86, 240 

Banks, Sir W., i. 321 
Baring's Bank, i. 192-193 
Barnato, Barney, i. 318 
Barnay, Ludwig, i. 318 ; ii. 151-156 
Barnes, General (U.S.A.), i. 315 
Barnum, P. T., i. 318 
Baroda, The Gaekwar of, i. 320 
Barr, Robert, ii. 138 
Barrett, Lawrence, i. 315 ; ii. 152- 

153 

Barrett, Wilson, i. 323 ; ii. 118, 153 
Barrie, J. M., i. 316 ; ii. 137 
Barren, Elwyn, i. 323 
Barrows, B. H., i. 323 

2 A 



37 



INDEX 



Barry, Lord Justice, i. 324 
Barry, Sergeant, ii. 60 
Barrymore, Ethel, i. 321 
Bartlett, Frank, i. 319 
Bartlett, W. H., i. 324 
Bass, Col. (U.S.A.), i. 324 
Bassanio, i. 276 

Bastien-Lepage, Jules, ii. 163-165 
Bateman, Col., i. 141-144 ; ii. 307 
Bateman, Mrs. H. L., i. 53, 75; ii. 

175. 307 

Bates, General (U.S.A.), ii. 232 
Bates, W. O., i. 319 
Bath, Quin Memorial. Civic Lunch, 

" 347 

Bayard, T. F. (U.S. Ambassador), i. 
321 

Beaconsfield, Lady, ii. 39-40 

Beaconsfield, Earl of, i. 168-169 ', ii- 
37-42 

Beatrice, i. 101-103 

Beaufort, The Duke of, i. 325 

Becke, Louis, i. 318 

Beckct, i. 209-211, 221-242 ; Wind- 
sor, ii. 216-222, 301, 302 

Becket, Reading, Canterbury Cathe- 
dral, i. 242-245 

Becket, Reading, King Alfred Mil- 
lenary, i. 245-246 ; ii. 233 

Beckett, Arthur a, i. 319 

Bective, The Countess of, i. 324 

Bedford Street, Trving's office at, 

i- 273 

Beecher, Henry Ward, i. 322 
Behenna, Sarah, i. 103 
Beit, Alfred, i. 319 
Belasco, David, i. 320 
Belfast, Samaritan Hospital, i. 57- 

60 

Belgians, The King of the, i. 364 
Bell, C. Moberley, i. 325 
Bell, E. Hamilton, i. 324 
Bell, Mackenzie, i. 325 
Bellevue Gardens, ii. 125-127 
Belle's Stratagem, The, i. 5-7, 89 ; 

ii. 301 

Bells, The, i. 12, 1-5.1-144, 152-153 ; 
ii. 301, 302 ; Irving's last per- 
formance in, 353 
Belmont, Perry, i. 325 
Belmore, Lionel, ii. 226-227 
Bendall, Ernest A., i. 91, 318 
Benedict, Sir Julius, i. 95, 322 
Benedict, Mrs. and Miss Stone, i. 325 
Bennett, Joseph, i. 326 
Benvolio, i. 87 

Beresford, Admiral Lord C., i. 316 
Bernhardt, Maurice, i. 317 
Bernhardt, Sarah, i. 317 ; ii. 53, 
161-166 



Berrington, Mr. (Mayor of Wolver- 

hampton), ii. 347 
Beveridge, J. D., i. 326 
Bierstadt, Albert, i. 315 
Bigelow, Mr., i. 362 
Bigelow, Poulteney, i. 322 
Bigelow, Prescott, i. 320 
Billings, Dr. (U.S.A.), i. 315 
Bikaner, Maharaja of, i. 338 
Bimetallism, ii. 34-35 
Birkbeck Institute, i. 304-306, 368 
Bishop, J. B., i. 287-288, 319 
Blackie, Prof., i. 319 
Blaine, J. G., i. 316 
Blake, Sir Henry, i. 326 
Blanchard, G. R., i. 325 
Blashfield, E., i. 323 
Bliss, Cornelius, i. 323 
Bliss, Wm., i. 325 
Blomfeld, Lady, i. 326 
Bloody Marriage, The, ii. 137 
Blyth, Henry A., i. 324 
Blyth, Sir James, Bart., i. 318 
Boarding School, The, ii. 301 
Bobbili, Raja of, i. 339 
Bobbs, W. C., i. 316 
Bodley, John Edward Courtenay, i. 

3.19 

Boito, i. 318 ; ii. 140-141 
Bolton, T. H., M.P., i. 316 
Book III. Chapter V., ii. 301 
Booth, Edwin, i. 2, 86-92, 318 ; ii. 

152 

Booth, O., ii. 137 
Booth, Wilkes, ii. 103 
Boothby, Guy, i. 316 
Boots at the Swan, i. 16 
Borrajo, E. M., i. 321 
Boston, Faust, i. 183 ; Dante, i. 274 
Boston, Tremont Theatre, Harvard 

Night at, ii. 260-261 
Bourchier, Arthur, i. 323 ; ii. 227 
Boucicault, Dion (the Elder), i. 

138-139, 315 ; ii- 136 

Boucicault, Dion (the Younger) 1.326 

Boughton, Geo., R.A., i. 317 ; ii. 
80, 89 

Bournemouth, i. 330-331 

Bowker, Alfred (Mayor of Win- 
chester), i. 246 

Bowles, Samuel, i. 319 

Boyd-Carpenter, Right Rev. Wm. 
(Bishop of Ripon), i. 324 ; ii. 253 

Bradbury, Mr., ii. 44 

Braddon, Miss (Mrs. Maxwell), i. i 

3'9 

Bradford : Irving's last per- 
formances his sudden death, ii. 
352-361 

Bradshaw, Christopher, i. 315 



INDEX 



Brady, Judge (N.Y.), i. 317 
Braithwaite, Lilian, i. 323 
Brereton, Austin, i. 315 
Bresnin, Fire Chief, ii. 275 
Brewster, Hon. Benjamin H., i. 315 ; 

ii. 192-193 
Bride of Lammermoor, The, see 

Ravenswood 
Bridal Chambers, Variants of, i. 

TOO 

Bridge, Sir John F., i. 241 
Bright, J. F., D.D. (Master of Uni- 
versity), ii. 252 
Bright, Jacob, i. 324 
Bright, John, i. 28 
Brisson, Adolphe, i. 316 ; ii. 140 
Bristol, Prince's Theatre, i. 249 ; ii. 

203 

British Legion, The, i. 1 6 
Broadfield, E. J., i. 322 
Brodribb, Samuel, i. 129 
Brodribb, Thomas, i. 129 
Brodrick, Hon. G. C. (Warden of 

Merton), ii. 252 
Brodsky, Prof., i. 325 
Bromley, " Uncle " George, i. 318 
Brooke, The Ranee, Lady, i. 315 
Brooklyn : Dante, i. 274 
Brooks, Sydney, i. 317 
Brough, Lionel, ii. 183 
Brougham, Lord, i. 28 
Broughton, Phyllis, i. 322 
Brown, Ford Madox, i. 119 
Brown, Mrs. Hannah, ii. 308-310 
Browne, Dr. Edgar, i. 316 
Browning, Robert, ii. 87-91 
Bryant, W. E., i. 320 
Bryce, Annan, i. 317 
Bryce, Prof. James, i. 368 
Brydges-Willyams, Mr., i. 317 ; ii. 

176 

Buck, Col. E. A., i. 289, 362 
Buffalo Liberal Club, ii. 265 
Bull, W. L., i. 323 
Burbank, A. P., i. 316 ; ii. 160 
Burdett-Coutts, The Baroness, i. 84, 

319 ; ii. 147-148, 234, 308, 362 
Burdett-Coutts, W.A., M.P., i. 319, 

362 ; ii. 69, 153, 362 
Burgin, G. B., i. 318 
Burlesque of the Corsican Brothers, 

i. 169-170 
Burnand, Sir Francis C., i. 91, 320, 

362, 364; ii. 87, 137, 153 
Burne-Jones, Sir Edward, Bart., i. 

253-255. 319; ". 73-78 
Burne-Jones, Sir Philip, Bart., i. 325 
Burhham, Daniel, i. 320 
Burnham, Lord, i. 283-284, 315 ; ii. 

I7S 



Burns, Rt. Hon. John, i. 323 ; ii. 

55 

Burton, Lady, i. 324, 350-361 
Burton, Percy, ii. 356-357 
Burton, Sir Richard, i. 324, 350- 

361 ; ii. 118 
Butler, Richard, i. 320 
Byegones, i. 164 ; ii. 301 
Byles, W. P., M.P., i. 325 
Byron, H. J., i. 325 
Byron, Lord, ii. 90 

CADWALLADER-JONES, Mrs. and 

Miss, i. 318 
Cahn, Julius, i. 322 
Caine, Hall, i. 26, 318 ; ii. 53-54 ; 

115-124, 130, 141-142 
Caine, Ralph Hall, i. 325 
Caird, Dr., ii. 250 
Caldecott, R., i. 317 
Calmour, A. C., i. 317 
Calve, i. 316 
Calvert, i. 91-92 
Cambridge University, i. 241 ; 

" Rede " Lecture, D.Litt., ii. 

247-249 

Cameron, Sir Charles, i. 316 
Campbell, Angus, i. 318 
Campbell, Lord Archibald, i. 324 
Canterbury Cathedral, i. 242-245 ; 

ii. 184-186 

Captain of the Watch, The, ii. 301 
Captive, The, i. 352 
Cardiff : Farewell visit, ii. 45 
Carey, Wm., i. 324 
Carle ton, H. Guy, i. 319 ; ii. 137 
Carl Rosa Opera Company, ii. 328 
Carr, J. Comyns, i. 323 ; ii. 125, 154, 

332 

Carr, Mrs. Comyns, i. 323 ; 11. 154 
Carr, Philip, i. 326 
Carrington, Earl of, i. 323 
Carroll, Howard, i. 318 
Carson, John B., i. 325 
Casella, The Misses, ii. 51, 146 
Casella, Mr., i. 320 
Cassel, Sir Ernest, i. 315 
Cassio, i. 16, 87 
Castle, Capt. Egerton, i. 319 ; ii. 

137 

Catholic Social Union, ii. 265 
Catling, Thomas, i. 318 
Cawdor, Earl of, i. 325 
Cecil, Arthur, i. 91 
Chambers, Haddon, i. 316 
Chance, H. T., i. 321 
Chandler, Senator, i. 322 
Chappell, Arthur, i. 324 
Charcot, Dr., i. 316 
Charles I. ,i. 12, 138-139; ii. 301,302 



37 2 



INDEX 



Chicago and Faust, i. 184 
Chicago, Illinois Theatre, i. 132-134 
Chicago, Twentieth Century Club, ii. 

264 

Chicago, University of, ii. 263 
Chicago Times Herald, i. 250 
Chicago, U.S. Cruiser, i. 327-331 
Childs, G. W., i. 323 ; ii. no 
Chinese Ambassador, i. 78-79 
Choate, Joseph B. (U.S. Ambas- 
sador), i. 320 ; ii. 234 
Christie's, i. 152 ; ii. 91 
Christmas, i. 308-309 
Churchill, Lady Randolph, i. 317 
Churchill, Lord Randolph, i. 317 ; 

. 35 

Chute, J. Macready, i. 319 
Claire, Louise, i. 7 
Claretie, Jules, i. 153-155, 318; ii. 

140, 162 

Clarke, J. I. C., i. 256, 325 ; ii. 137 
Clarke, Lady Campbell, i. 283, 316 
Clarke, Senator, i. 317 
Clarke, Sir Campbell, i. 316; ii. 160 
Clayton, John, i. 91 
Cleland, Baillie, i. 316 
Clemens, S. L., see Twain, Mark 
Clement, E. H., i. 323 
Clery, Jules, i. 154 
Cleveland, Grover (President 

U.S.A.), ii. 229-230 
Clifford, Mrs. W. K., i. 317 
Clover Club, ii. 92 
Coatbridge, i. 17 
Cody, Genl. Hon. W. F. (U.S.A.), 

i. 324 ; ii. 142 
Coitier, i. 131 

Coleridge, Lord, L.C.J., i. 316 
Coleridge, Hon. Stephen, i. 321 
Collins, Arthur, i. 322 
Collins, Col., i. 324 
Collinson, Walter, ii. 224, 279, 329, 

358 

Collis, General (U.S.A.), i. 324 
Colman, Geo., i. 83 
Colonial Conference, i. 314 
Colonial Premiers, The, i. 252, 334, 

340-341 

Colonial Troops, i. 251-252 
Columbia (College) University, ii. 

262-263 

Colvin, Sidney, i. 322 
Comedie-Francaise, The, i. 153-155 ; 

ii. 158, 161, 162-163 
Commercial, " Only a," i. 49-50 
Connaught, Duke of, i. 38 
Conreid, Heinrich, i. 320 
Cook, Dutton, i. 326 
Cook, E. T., i. 317 
Cooke, Geo. Frederick, i. 74 



Cooke, Sir C. Kinloch, i. 3 1 5 
Cool as a Cucumber, ii. 301 
Cooper, Lady Agnes, i. 321 
Cooper, Sir Alfred, ii. 146 
Copperfield, i. 42 

Coquelin, Cadet, i. 315, 316; ii. 141 
Coquelin, Constant (Aine), ii. 157- 

160 

Coquelin, Fils, i. 318 ; ii. 158 
Coriolanus, i. 83 ; ii. 65-70, 343 
Coronation, The King's (1902), it 

334-342 ; ii. 243 

Corpse, The way to carry a, i. 97-98 
Correspondence, i. 61-6? 
Corry, " Monty " (Lord Rowton), i. 

1 68 
Corsican Brothers, The, i. 159-172 ; 

ii. 275, 301 
Coudert, Mr., i. 325 
Count, The, ii. 137 
Courier of Lyons, The, i. 17 
Courtney, W. L., i. 320 ; ii. 137, 

138, 252-253, 256 
Craig, Edith, i. 326 ; ii. 53 
Craigie, Mrs., i. 317 

Cramp, Charles, i. 318 

Cramp, Edwin, i. 315 

Craven, Hawes, i. 75, 85-86, 94, 104, 
110,179,205,255,317; ii. 86, 212 

Crawford, Earl of, i. 323 

Crawford, Marion, i. 316 ; ii. 318 

Crawford, Robert, i. 324 

Creelman, James, i. 323 

Crewe, Earl of, ii. 210 

Critchett, Sir Anderson, i. 322 

Critic, The, i. 17 

Cronegk, i. 323 ; ii. 153 

Crosby Hall, i. 187 

Cunningham, David, i. 58 

Cup, The, i. 89, 162, 202-208 ; ii. 
301 

Curan, i. 118 

Currie, Lady (" Violet Fane "), i. 321 

Currie, Lord, i. 321 

Cuthbert, W., i. 86, 205 

Cymbeline, ii. 72, 301, 325 

Cyrano de Bergerac, ii. 160 

DABBS, Dr., i. 240-241, 321 
Daily News, The, i. 287-288 
Daily Telegraph, The, i. 187, 283, 

287 ; ii. 324 

Daisy's Escape, i. 164 ; ii. 301 
Dalhousie, The Earl and Countess 

of, ii. 253-257 
Daly, Augustin, i. 322, 369 
Daly, Judge (New York), i. 320 
Damala, i. 321 ; ii. 166 
Damrosch, Walter, ii. 140 
Dana, Charles A., i. 316 



INDEX 



373 



Dangle, i. 17 

Dante, i. 211 ; ii. 32 

Dante, i. 271-275 ; ii. 318, 343 

Darbyshire, Alfred, i. 316 

D'Arcy Knox, i. 319 ; ii. 186 

Darmont, i. 320 ; ii. 53, 166 

Davenport, Colonel, i. 16 

Davis, Clarke, i. 319 

Davis, Dr., i. 316 

Davis, E. D., i. 129 

Davis, Fay, i. 324 

Davis, Judge N. (New York), i. 317 

Davis, Richard Harding, i. 3 1 5 

Davis, Will J., i. 323 

Dead Heart, The, ii. 301 

De Bornier, i. 361 ; ii. 118, 120 

Deemster, The, ii. 117-118 

De Lara, Isidore, i. 321 

de la Rue, Sir Andros, Bart., i. 320 

del Balzo, Duca and Duchessa, i. 

^324 

Demon Lover, The, ii. 123-124 

Depew, Senator Chauncey, i. 315 

Derlacher, George, i. 326 

Devonshire, The Duchess of, i. 254, 

317 

Devonshire, The Duke of, i. 317 
Dewar, Sir James, i. 317 ; ii. 323 
Dexter, Wirt, i. 316 
Dexter, Mrs. and Miss Wirt, i. 316 
De Young, M. H., i. 321 
Diamond Jubilee (1897),!. 251-252, 

333-334 

Dicey, Edward, i. 318 
Dickens, Chas., i. 280, 282; ii. 177 
Dickens, Chas. (the younger), i. 91, 

280, 315 
Dickens, Henry Fielding, i. 280-282, 

315 
Dickens, Kate (Mrs.Perugini), i .280, 

317 

Dickens, The Misses, i. 315 
Dicksee, Frank, R.A., i. 318 
Diderot, D., Paradox of Acting, i. 

48-49 1 ; ii. 18, 157-158 
Didier, i. 17 
Dillon, Valentine (Lord Mayor of 

Dublin), ii. 208-211 
Dixey, Mr., i. 321 
Dixon, A. )., i. 324 
Dixon, J., ii. 137 
Dixon, Misses Hepworth, i. 326 
Dolat Singh, Maharaja Kunwar, i. 

339 

Dolgoruki, Princess, u. 52 
Domville, Dr., i. 321 
Donaldson, Thomas, i. 321 ; ii. 

92-93, 100, 102, 105, 106, no, in 
Don Quixote (J. J. C. Clarke), i. 

256; ii. 137 



Don Quixote (W. G. Wills), i. 255- 

258 ; ii. 137, 301 
Doricourt, i. 278 
Dornton, Young, i. 6-7 
Dorsheimer, Governor, i. 320 ; ii. 259 
Dowden, Edward, i. 27, 321 ; ii. 

95-99 

Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan, i. 248, 249, 
321 ; ii. 138 

Dramatists, ii. 131-139 

Dream of Eugene Aram, The, i. 28- 
32, 43 ; ii. 178 

Drew, John, i. 321 

Drew, Mrs. Harry, i. 321 

Drexel, A. (" Tony "), ii. no 

Drury Lane Theatre, i. 273-274 ; ii. 
151, 203 ; Irving's last perform- 
ances in London, 350-351 

Dublin, Theatre Royal, 1867, i. 1-7 ; 
1871,7-8; 1872, ii ; 1877 ,-47-50; 
Early Experiences at the Queen's 
Theatre, 14-18 ; Public Recep- 
tion and Address, 1 894, ii. 208-2 1 1 

Dublin University, 1876, Honours 
from, i. 35-41 ; 1877, a Reading 
at Trinity College, 42-44 ; 1892, 
D.Litt., ii. 244-247 

Du Bois, Dr. (U.S.N.), i. 325 

Dubourg, A. W., i. 317 

Du Chaillu, Paul B., i. 369 

Duckworth, Sub-Dean Robinson, 
ii. 362 

Dufferin and Ava, The Marquis of, 
ii. 246, 248-249 

Du Maurier, George, i. 323 

Dumont, General, i. 325 

Dunn, J. Nicol, i. 322 

Dunne, F. P., ii. 166 

Dunraven, The Earl of, i. 323 

Dunton, Theodore Watts, i. 321 

Duplat, General, i. 325 

Durham, Arthur, i. 321 

Duse, i. 324 

Duval, H. C., i. 320 

Dyall, Charles, i. 321 

EDINBURGH, i. 118, 277-278 
Edinburgh, H.R.H., the Duke of, see 

Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Duke of 
Edinburgh Philosophical Institute, 

1881 and 1891, ii. 264 
Edinburgh, Queen's Theatre, i. 276 
Edinburgh Theatre Royal, i. 3 
Edgar and Lucy, see Ravenswood 
Edison, i. 176 

Educational value of the Stage, i. 1 83 
Edward VII., i. 161-162, 173-174, 

175, 268, 284, 310-311 ; ii. 186, 

212-215, 21 9. 2 38, 242, 243, 363 
Edwards, Col. C. (U.S.A.), i. 324 * 



374 



INDEX 



Edwards, J. Passmore, i. 320 

Edwards, Wm., i. 316 

Egerton, Lady Alix, i. 326 

Egerton. Lady Mabel, i. 325 

Eibenschutz Ilona, i. 318 

Elderkin, John, i. 318 

Eliot," " Max (Mrs. Ellis), i. 

323 

Elliot, Maxine, i. 325 
Elliot, Mr. (President of Harvard), 

ii. 259-260 

Elliott, Gertrude, i. 318 
Elliott, Sir George, Bart., ii. 38-39 
Elliott, Samuel, i. 326 
Ellis, Sir Whittaker, i. 317 
Ellis, Walter, i. 323 
Elsler, Fanny, i. 8 
Emery, Capt. (U.S.A.), i. 325 
Emin Pasha, i. 370 
Emlyn, Lord, i. 326 
Emmott, W. T., i. 315 
End of the Hunting, The, ii. 1 37 
Engel, Lewis, i. 326 
" English Actors," ii. 253-255 
Enoch Arden, i. 211 
Erben, Admiral (U.S.A.), i. 325, 

327-331 

Escott, T. H. S., i. 325, 362 
Esher, Lord, i. 321 
Eugene Aram, i. 12, 127-128 ; ii. 

296, 301 

Eugenie, The Empress, i. 372 
Eustace, Jennie, i. 322 
Evarts, Senator, i. 320 
Exeter, ii. 347 

FAHNSTOCK, H. C., i. 325 
Fairchild, Charles, i. 324 
Fairchild, Gen. L. (U.S.A.), i. 317 
Fairplay, Frank, i. 16 
Fardell, Sir Thomas, i. 325 
Farjeon, B. L., i. 321 
Farquhar, Gilbert, i. 317 
Farquhar, Lord, i. 322 
Farrar, Dean, i. 29, 243-244, 322 
Farrell, John, i., 315 
Farren, Nellie, i. 323 
Farringford, i. 212, 224-232 
Fateh Ali Khan, Nawab, i. 339 
Faudel- Phillips, Lady, i. 283, 319 
Faudel-Phillips, Sir George, Bart., i. 

319 
Faust, i. 109, 146-147, 175-184 ; ii. 

275. 301, 302 
Fawcett, Edgar, i. 319 
Fawsitt, Amy, i. 7 
Fearing, C. F., i. 317 
Febvre, i. 319 
Ferment, i. 175 
Fernandez, James, i. 317 



Field, Eugene, i. 322 
Field, Marshall, i. 318 
Field, Roswell, i. 319 
Fife, The Duke of, i. 316 
Fildes, Sir Luke, R.A.., i. 325 
Finance, i. 62-63 '> u - 304-320 
Fires, ii. 269-279, 297-303, 325-326 
First Nights, i. 124, 242, 314 
Fisher, Joseph, i. 319 
Fiske, John, i. 231, 246, 324 
Fiske, Stephen, i. 315 
Fitz-George, Col., i. 323 
Fitzgerald, Dr. C. S., i. 321 
FitzGerald, Edward, i. 318 
FitzGerald, Percy, i. 321 
FitzGerald. Sir Maurice (The Knight 

of Kerry), i. 3 1 8 

Fitzgibbon, Lord Justice, i. 317 
Fladgate, W. F., i. 325 
Floods, ii. 279-285 
Florence, W. J., i. 91, 316 
Florizel, i. 16 
Flower, C. E., ii. 128 
Flying Dutchman, Ths, ii. 124, 130, 

see also Vanderdecken 
Foord, John, i. 325 
Foote, General (U.S.A.), i. 321 
Forbes, James Staats, i. 323 
Forbes Norman, i. 322 ; ii. 327 
Forbes, Wm., i. 244 
Forbes-Robertson, Johnston, i. 255, 

266, 318 ; ii. 241, 328 
Ford, E. Onslow, R.A., i. 325 ; ii. 

59-64 

Ford, Isaac N., i. 319 ; ii. 166 
Foreign Warships, Visits of, i. 327- 

332 

Ford, Wolfram Onslow, ii. 63 
Forrest, Edwin, i. 8 ; his watch, ii. 92 
Foresters, The, i. 211, 247 
Fowler, Thomas P., i. 321 
Fox, John, jun., i. 325 
Foxwell, Dr. Arthur, ii. 349 
Francis, J. M., i. 319 ; ii. 294 
Frankau, E., i. 321 
Franklin, Mrs., i. 326 
Franqueville, Comte de, i. 316 
Frederic, Harold, i. 320 
Freeman's Journal (Dublin), i. 16 
Freiberger, E., i. 318 
French, Samuel, i. 144 
Friendship of Irving with Bram 

Stoker, i. 25-34, 60 
Frith, W. P., R.A., i. 318 
Frohman, Chas., i. 319 ; ii. 333, 344, 

349 

Frohman, Daniel, i. 321 
Froude, J. A., ii. 32 
Fun, The, i. 33?~33 2 
Fulda, Ludwig, ii. 1 37 



INDEX 



375 



Fulvius, Titus Quintus, i. 16 
Furness, H. H., jun., i. 319 
Furness, Horace Howard, i. 318 
Furniss, Harry, i. 319 
Fussy, ii. 279 
Fyles, Franklin, i. 320 

GAIETY Theatre, i. 99-100, 154, 

169-170 ; ii. 161 
Galdemar, Ange, i. 321 
Galitzin, Prince Nicholas, ii. 58 
Gamester, The, i. 82 
Gangadhar Madho Chitnavis, i. 339 
Garden, E. W., i. 320 
Gardner, Mrs. Jack, i. 315 
Garnett, Richard, C.B., i. 325 
Gamier, i. 315 ; ii. 166 
Garrick Club, ii. 91 
Garrick, David, his malacca cane, ii. 

90 

Gaskell, The Misses, i. 322 ; n. 144 
Gaston, Duke of Orleans, i. 128-130 
Gatti, S., i. 318 
Gemini et Virgo, i. 42, 352 
Gennadius, Signer, i. 316 
George Washington, ii. 137 
Gerbel, Count de, ii. 170-171 
Gerbel, Countess de, see Ward, Miss 

Genevieve 
Gerische, ii. 143 
German, Edward, i. 320 
Germany, Crown Prince of 

(Frederick III.), i. 179 
Germany, Emperor William I. of, ii. 

239 
Germany, Emperor William II. of, 

ii. 222-223, 225 
Germany, Empress Frederick of, ii. 

219 

Giffard, R. Swain, i. 323 
Gilbert, Alfred, R.A., i. 148, 152- 

153, 318 ; ii. 140 
Gilbert, Mrs., i. 322 
Gilbert, W. M., i. 325 
Gilbey, Henry, i. 324 
Gilbey, Sir Walter, Bart., i. 315 
Gilder, R. Watson, i. 321 
Gillette, Wm., i. 318 ; ii. 316, 334 
Gillespie, Mrs., i. 316 
Gilman, Daniel (President, Johns 

Hopkins University), i. 316 
Gisippus; or, the Forgotten Friend, i. 

16 
Gladstone, Mrs. W. E., i. 325 ; ii. 

32, 35-36 
Gladstone, Rt. Hon. W. E., i. 123- 

124 ; as an actor, 166-168, 325 ; 

ii. 26-36 

Gladstone, W. H., ii. 31 
Glaister, Prof., ii. 251 



Glasgow, i. 60-61 
Glasgow Theatre Royal, ii. 68-69 
Glasgow, Irving's Illness, ii. 326-329 
Glasgow University, LL.D., ii. 250- 

252 

Gleichen, Count, ii. 41 
Glenesk, Lord, i. 319 
Glimpse of A merica, A , i. 368 
Glover, Mrs., i. 317 
Goddard, Moses B. I., i. 321 
Godkin, E. L., i. 321 
Godwin, Parke, i. 320 
Goetz, Ludovic, i. 317 
Goetz, Miss Alice, i. 317 
Goetz, Mrs., ii. 141 
Gollanz, Prof. T., i. 322 
Goodall, Frederick, R.A., i. 315 
Goodwin, Nat, i. 315 ; ii. 166 
Gordon, Admiral, i. 318 
Gordon, Lady Marjorie, i. 326 
Goschen, Lord, i. 325 
Got, ii. 239 

Gough, Vice-Admiral, i. 321 
Gounod, i. 325 ; ii. 148-150 
Gouraud, Col., i. 176 
Gower, Lord Ronald, i. 319 
Graham, J. F., i. 324 
Grain, Corney, i. 318 
Grand Theatre, Islington, i. 369 
Grant, Digby, i. 7-11 
Grant, Gen., i. 294 ; ii. 105 
Grau, Maurice, i. 326 
Graydon, Dr., i. 316 
Greenfell, W. H., i. 323 
Greenwood, Arthur, i. 322 
Grcgo, Joseph, i. 324 
Griffin, Gerald, i. 16 
Griffin, Sir Lepel, i. 326 
Griffiths, Major Arthur, i. 320 
Griggs, J. W. (Attorney-General, 

U.S.A.), i. 323 
Griscom, W., i. 318 
Grossmith, Geo., i. 316 
Grossmith, Weedon, i. 320 
Grosvenor, Countess, i. 318 
Grove, Archibald, i. 323 
Grove, F. C., ii. 174 
Grove, Sir George, i. 174 
Grundy, Sydney, i. 321 
Gunter, Archibald Clavering, i. 

319 

Guthrie, F. Anstey, i. 318 ; ii. 87 
Gwalior, Maharaja of, i. 338 

HAASE, Frederick, ii. 239 

Hackett, Henry, i. 318 

Hackney, Mabel (Mrs. L. Irving), ii. 

224 

Hagenbach's Menagerie, ii. 128-132 
Humes, F.M. Sir Frederick, i. 324 



INDEX 



Hall, T. W., i. no 

Halle, Chas., i. 321 

Halstead, Murat, i. 322 

Halswelle, Keeley, A.R.S.A., i. 109- 

iio, 325 

Hamill, C., i. 316 
Hamilton, Lady Cicely, i. 321 
Hamilton, Angus, i. 317 
Hamilton, J. McLuer, i. 318 
Hamilton-Gordon, Hon. Lady, i. 

324 
Hamlet i. 12, 16, 25-27, 75-82, 87 ; 

A Reading, 304-306 ; Hall Caine's 

Criticism of, ii. 115-116, 273- 

275, 300 

" Hamlet " (An Address), ii. 264 
Hampton Court, i. 90-92 
Handy, M. P., i. 323 
Handwriting, Character by, ii. 22 
Hann, W., i. 86, 94 ; ii. 212 
Hanna, Senator Mark, i. 322 ; ii. 

230 

Hapgood, Norman, i. 320-321 
Hardman, Lady, i. 324 
Hardman, Sir William, i. 324 
Hardwicke, Earl of, i. 318 
Hardy, Thomas, i. 323 
Hare, Gilbert, i. 326 
Hare, John, i. 145, 317;^. 87, 138,140 
Harker, J., i. no, 255 
Harlem Opera House, i. 288 
Harmsworth, Alfred, see Lord 

Northcliff 

Harper, Henry, i. 318 
Harper, W. R. (President, Chicago 

University), i. 316 
Harper's Magazine, ii. 80, 157 
Harraden, Beatrice, i. 324 
Harris, John, i. 25 ; ii. 168 
Harris, Sir Augustus, i. 321 ; ii. 154 
Harrison, Judge, i. 316 
Hart, John, i. 325 
Hartford, Dante, i. 274 
Harvard, Sander's Theatre, ii. 259- 

260 

Harvard University, ii. 258-262 
Harvey, Col., i. 324 
Harvey, Martin, i. 318 ; ii. 328 
Harvey, Mrs. Martin, i. 318 
Hassard, Sir John, i. 244, 326 
Hatton, Joseph, i. 324, 362 
Hauck, Minnie, i. 324 
Haverland, Fraulein, i. 316 
Haweis, Rev. H. R., ii. 114 
Hawkes, Wells J., i. 322 
Hawkins, Anthony Hope, i. 316 
Hawkins, F. W., ii. 19, 160 
Hawkesley, Ernest, i. 315 
Hawthorne, Julian, i. 322 
Hay, Helen, ii. 155 



Hay, Col. John (U.S. Ambassador), 

i. 323 ; ii. 155, 232 
Haydon, Judge, i. 322 
Hearn, James, i. 317 
Heilbron, David, i. 324 
Heilbut, Samuel, i. 325 
Heinemann, Wm., i. 317 
Henderson, Sir James, i. 319 
Hennell, E. W., ii. 145 
Henry VIII., i. 113-117; ii. 300, 

302 

Henschel, Georg, i. 316 ; ii. 143-144 
Hentschel, Carl, i. 321 
Herbert, Miss, i. 1-7, 175 
Herkomer, Prof. Hubert von, R.A., 

i. 202 

Hetherington, C., i. 318 
Heward, A. G. R., i. 318 
Hichens, Robert, i. 266, 325 
Hicks, Seymour, i. 317 
High Life Below Stairs, ii. 301 
Hill, Vice-Chancellor, of Cam- 
bridge, ii. 247 
Hill, Frank, i. 316 
Hinkle, A. Howard, i. 316 
Hisses, i. 15-18 
Hodges, Commander (U.S.N.), i. 

326 

Hoey, Mrs. Cashel, i. 322 
Hogarth, Miss Georgina, i. 280, 315 
Hohenlohe - Langenburg, Prince 

Ernest of, i. 321 
Hollingshead, John, i. 169, 317 
Holloway, W. J., i. 120-123 
Holmes, John Henry, i. 315 
Holmes, Oliver Wendell, i. 149 
Homer, Tennyson on, i. 235 
Home Rule Bill, ii. 33 
Home Sweet Home, ii. 124 
Honey, Geo., i. 7 
Horton, H. C., i. 326 
Hoskins, Wm., i. 129 
Hosmer, C. R., i. 324 
Houghton, Lord, i. 321, 353-355 
Howard, J. B., i. 68-69, 3 21 
Howard, Joseph, jun., i. 316 
Howe, Earl, ii. 363 
Howe, Henry, i. 324 ; ii. 216 
Howells, W. D., i. 323 ; ii. 234 
Hoyt, Henry Martyn (Solr.-Gen. 

U.S.A.), i. 319 
Huddleston, Baron, i. 324 
Hughes, Col., i. 318 
Hughes, Tom, i. 325 
Hulse, Hon. Lady, i. 324 
Hulse, Sir Edward, Bart., i. 324 
Hume, Fergus, ii. 137 
Hunted Down, i. 281 
Hunter, Colin, A.R.A., i. 326 
Hutton, Laurence, i. 322 



INDEX 



37- 



Hypercriticism, i. 104-105, 205- 
207 

IAGO, i. 89 

Ibraham, H.H. Prince, i. 315 

Idar, Maharaja of, i. 338 

Inderwick, F., Q.C., i. 323 

Indian and Colonial Troops, i. 251- 

252 
Indian Princes, i. 252, 334, 338- 

340. 342 
Indian Revolt, The ("Mr. Irwig"), 

ii. 346 

Interviewers, i. 297-301 
lolanthe, i. 137; ii. 301 
Irish Famine, i. 28-29 
Irish Times, The, i. 7 
Iron Chest, The, i. 83 ; ii. 301 
Irving, Henry : 

Note. For appearances 
in individual Plays and 
Rdles and at London 
Theatres see under their 
respective names ; at Pro- 
vincial and other Theatres, 
under name of town or 
cities ; see also America, 
visits to 
Early experiences in Dublin, 

i. 3-7, ii, 14-18 
A blaze of genius, i. 28-32 
Honours from Dublin Univer- 
sity, i. 35-41 
Carriage dragged by Students, 

i. 40 
A Reading at Trinity College, 

Dublin, i. 42-44 
" Chaired," i. 43-44 
Takes over management of the 

Lyceum, i. 60-63, 7 2 
Joined by Bram Stoker, i. 60- 

61 

Lyceum Productions, i. 70-71 
Mastery and decision of 

character, i. 79-81 
Not ill for seven years, i. 82 
Respect for feelings of others, 

i. 105-106 
A lesson in collaboration, i. 

111-113 
Influenza during run of King 

Lear, i. 119-123 
His method, i. 127-140 
First appearance on the stage, 

i. 128-130 

Skill in " make-up," i. 139-140 
Love for children, i. 140 
Generosity to Mrs. L. Lewis, i. 

144 
Love of,sincerity i. 146,^148 



Irving (continued) 

Devotion and zeal of his staff, 
i. 148-150 

Presentation, twenty-fifth anni- 
versary The Bells, i. 152-153 

Entertainment French Authors, 

i- IS4-I55 

A good friend to supers, i. 158 
His stage doubles, i. 170 
A narrow escape, i. 183 
Fiftieth birthday a record 

house, i. 183 

A gift for reading, i. 186-187 
On Tennyson, i. 197-199 
Knowledge of character, i. 

199 ; h. 310 

Tennyson's plays, i. 197-246 
Fifty-fifth birthday Becket 

produced, i. 242 
Reading, Becket, Canterbury 

Cathedral, i. 242-245 
King Alfred Millenary, i. 

245-246 

Early days, i. 277-278 
Visits to America, i. 285-288 
Last performance in America, 

i. 288 

Care in speaking, i. 298-299 
Reading, Hamlet, Birkbeck In- 
stitute, i. 304-306 
A heavy bill, i. 306 
Energy and nervous power, i. 

306-307 

Christmas, i. 308-309 
A social force, i. 310-326 
His house at Brook Green, i. 

312 
Last reception at the Lyceum, 

i- 333-342 
Politics, i. 343 
Two favourite stories, i. 346- 

349 

His Philosophy of his Art : 
Key-stone, ii. 1-3 
Scientific process, ii. 3-6 
Character, ii. 6-14 
The play, ii. 14-15 
Stage perspective, ii. 16-18 
Dual consciousness, i. 149, 

265, ii. 18-21, 296 
Individuality, ii. 22 
Beauty, the aim of art, 11.23 
Summary, ii. 24-25 
As Hamlet, Onslow Ford 

Statue of, ii. 61-62 
His hands, i. 234 ; ii. 63-64, 

119 
Artistic co-operation with E. 

A. Abbey, ii. 81-83 
Last portraits, ii. 87 



378 



INDEX 



Irving (continued) 

Danger from a monkey : 
Manchester, ii. 125-126 
Stratford-on-Avon, ii. 127- 

128 

His love of animals, ii. 128-130 
Dramatists his search for 

plays, ii. 131-139 
Musicians, ii. 140-150 
Order of the Komthur Cross, ii. 

ISS 
Friendship with Toole, ii. 

177-189 

Ellen Terry, ii. 190-207 
Public reception and address, 

Dublin, 1894, ii. 208-211 
Performances at Sandringham 

and Windsor, ii. 212-228 
Presidents of the United States, 



Knighthood, ii. 238-243 
Presentation from his fellow 

players, ii. 240 
Universities : 

Dublin, 1876, Honours 

from, i. 35-41 ; 1892, 

D.Litt., ii. 244-247 
Cambridge, 1898, " Rede " 

Lecture, D.Litt., ii. 

247-249 
Glasgow, 1899, LL.D., ii. 

250-252 
Oxford, 1886, "English 

Actors," ii. 252-257 
Manchester, " Macbeth," 

ii. 257-258 
Harvard, 1885 and 1894, 

two addresses, ii. 258- 

262 
Columbia, 1895, " Mac- 

beth," ii. 262-263 
Chicago, 1896 and 1900, 

two lectures, ii. 263 
Princeton, 1902, " Shake- 

speare and Bacon," ii. 

264 
Other learned bodies and 

institutions, ii. 264-265 
Adventures : 

Over a mine bed, ii. 266- 

269 

Fires, ii. 269-279 
Floods, ii. 279-285 
Train accidents, ii. 285- 

288 

Storms at sea, ii. 289-293 

Falling scenery, ii. 293-296 

Instances of fearlessness, ii. 21, 

273-274, 280-281, 294-296 

Finance, i. 62-63 " 304-320 



Irving (continued) 

A bequest, ii. 309-310 
Lyceum Theatre Company, ii. 

315-320 
The turn of the tide : 

Strenuous life, ii. 321-322 
Accident to knee, i. 126; 

ii. 322-325 

Burning of the Lyceum 
Storage, ii. 297-303, 
325-326 
Illness at Glasgow, ii. 326- 

330 
Lyceum Theatre Company, 

" 331-335 

Failing health, ii. 335 
Fortitude and patient 

suffering, ii. 336-339 
Last years, ii. 339~359 
Determination to retire, 

ii. 344 
Farewell Visits : 

Cardiff : A touching fare- 
well, ii. 345 

Swansea : Lead, Kindly 
Light, ii. 345 

Sunderland : Public ban- 
quet and address, ii. 

345-347 
Exeter : Public address 

and reception, ii. 347 
Bath : Unveils Quin Me 

morial Civic lunch, ii. 

347 

Wolverhampton : Public 
address serious illness 
tour abandoned, ii. 

347-349 
Last Performances in London, 

" 350-351 
Workmen present a loving-cup, 

ii- 350-351 
His last tour : 

Sheffield : Civic luncheon, 

" 352 

Bradford : Public address 
last performances, ii. 

352-356 

Sudden death, ii. 357-359 
Public funeral in Westminster 

Abbey, ii. 361-366 
Irving, Henry Brodribb, jun., ii. 

85. 359 
Irving, Laurence, i. 265, 267, 272 ; 

" 359 

Isle of St. Tropes, ii. 137 
Iwamgto, Captain, i. 320 

JACK, Prof., i. 320 
Jackson, Dr., ii. 248 



INDEX 



379 



Jacobs, W. W., i. 325 

Jagannath Barua, Rai Bahadur, i. 

339 

James, David, i. 321, 325 ; ii. 296 
Jeejeebhai, Sir Jamsetjee, i. 339 
Jefferson, Joseph, i. 316 ; ii. 230 
Jeffery, John B., i. 316 
Jekyll and Hyde, i. 137 
Jerome, Jerome K., i. 317 
Jerome, Larry," i. 321 
Jerome, Leonard, i. 316 
Jester King, The, ii. 1 37 
Jeypore, Maharaja of, i. 338 
Jingle, ii. 301 
Joel, Solly, i. 318 
Joel, Wolf, i. 325 

John, Mr. (Mayor of Bath), ii. 347 
ohnson, R. Underwood, i. 319 
ohnson, H. T., ii. 137 
Johnston, Sir Harry, i. 369 
Jonas, Sir Joseph (Lord Mayor of 

Sheffield), ii. 352 
Jones, Henry Arthur, i. 322 ; ii. 

138 

Jones, Senator, i. 318 
Jowett, Benjamin (Master of Bal- 

liol), ii. 252-253 
Joy, Albert Bruce, i. 317 
Julius Ccesar, ii. 144 

KAPURTHALA, H.H. The Raja of, 

i. 318 

Kaye, Lady Lister, i. 319 
Kean, Chas., i. 134, 161-162 ; 

ii. 90, 217-218 
Kean, Edmund, i. 20 ; relics of, ii. 

90 

Kean, Mrs. Chas., ii. 201 
Keeley, Dr., i. 315 
Keeley, Mrs., i. 322 
Keenan, T. J., i. 321 ; ii. 166 
Kelly, Chas., i. 162 
Kelvin, Lord, ii. 246 
Kemble, Henry, i. 319 
Kenney, Charles Lamb, i. 323 
Keppel, Admiral Sir Harry, i. 315 
Kerr, Fred, i. 320 
Keyser, Miss Agnes, i. 320 
King, T. C., i. 16 
King, Wilson, i. 324 ; ii. 169 
King, Alfred Millenary, i. 245-246 
King and the Miller, The, ii. 301 
King Arthur, i. 21 1 
King Arthur (J. Comyns Carr), i. 

2 53- 2 SS I " 74. 261-262, 300, 

302 
King Arthur (W. G. Wills), i. 253 ; 

" 137 

King Lear, i. 118-124, I2 8 ; ii. 56- 
57, 182, 301 



Kingston, W. Beatty, i. 317, 358 ; 

Wii. 146 

Kinsmen," " The, ii. 80 

Klein, Chas., i. 317 

Knight, Joseph, i. 322 

Knighthood, ii. 238-243 

Knollys, Lord, i. 324 

Knowles, Sir James, i. 44-47, 201, 

320, 351 ; h. 31 
Kohlapur, Maharaja of, i. 339 
Kohlsaat, H. H., i. 250-251, 319 
Kooch Bahar, Maharaja of, i. 339 
Kuhe, W., i. 326 

LABOUCHERE, Mrs. (Henrietta Hod- 
son), i. 318 

Labouchere, Henry, M.P., i. 318 
Lady Audley's Secret, i. 1-7 
Lady of Lyons, The, i. 156-158,- 187 ; 

ii. 301 
Lady Torfrida, The yacht, ii. 41- 

52 

Laertes, i. 16, 87 
Laffan, W. M., i. 321 
Lambdin, Dr., i. 318 
Lancashire Lass, The, i. 281 
Langdon, Woodbury, i. 319 
Langmaid, Dr., i. 321 
Langtry, Mrs., i. 319 
Lankester, Prof. Ray, i. 322 
Lanyon, General Sir Owen, i. 315 
Lathrop, Mr. and Mrs. Bryan, i. 

317 

Law, David, i. 322 
Lawrence, F. R., i. 317 
Lawrence, Gerald, i. 324 
Lawrence, Sir Henry, Bart., i. 317 
Lawson, F. W., i. 320 
Lawson, The Hon. Harry, i. 321 
Leaves of Grass, ii. 93-96, 107-108 
Leaf, Walter, i. 233, 234-236 
Le Clerc, ii. 140 
Le Clerc, Rose, i. 323 
Lee, Col. Arthur, M.P., i. 323 
Lee, Sidney, i. 321 
Lefroy, Edward, i. 44 
Lehmann, Rudolph, i. 1 14, 324 
Leighton, Lord, ii. 245, 246-247 
Leighton, Sir Baldwin, Bart., i. 321 
Leiningen, H.S.H. Prince, i. 325 
Le Sage, J. M., i. 319 
Leslie, Fred, i. 325 
Leslie, Miss Amy, i. 318 
Lestocq, W., i. 318 
Lever, Chas., i. 355 
Levy, J. M., i. 283-284, 287 
Levy, Miss Matilda, i. 283, 321 ; ii. 

176 

Lewanika, King, i. 339 
Lewis, Arthur, i. 319 ; ii. 90 



380 



INDEX 



Lewis, Mrs.Arthur (Kate Terry), i. 

319 ; ii. 90 
Lewis, Sir George, Bart., i. 323 ; ii. 

1 86 

Lewis, George, J. G., i. 316 
Lewis, Leopold, i. 144 
Leycester, Rafe, i. 323 
Leyden, Count de, i. 319 
Libottpn, ii. 163 
Librarians, Conference of, i. 314 
Lincoln, Abraham, ii. 103-104, 108- 

109, in 
Lincoln, Robert (U.S. Ambassador), 

i. 322 

Lindsay, Sir Coutts, Bart., i. 321 
Linton, Sir James D., P.R.I., i. 315 
Linley, Tinsley, i. 323 
Liszt, Abbfe Franz, i. 319 ; ii. 145- 

148 

Littleton, Alfred, ii. 146 
Littleton, Augustus, ii. 146 
Livadia, The, ii. 48-52 
Liverpool Town Crier, ii. 115 
Livingstone, David, i. 366 
Lloyd, Frank, i. 320 
Lloyd, John Uri, i. 321 
Lloyd-Davies, William Allan, i. 319 ; 

ii- 337-338, 349 
Lockwood, Sir F., M.P., i. 315 
London and County Bank, ii. 308 
London County Council, ii. 318 
Londesborough, Earl of, i. 323 
Long, Edwin, R.A., i. 139, 317 
Lord Chamberlain's Department, 

The, ii. 120-121, 132-134, 275 
Louis XI., i. 131-134; ii. 301, 302; 
Irving's last performance in 
London, 350, 353 

Loveday, H. J., i. 42, 63, 69, 81, 84- 

t 85, 96-97. "5. 150, 177. 222-223, 

247, 266, 343 ; ii. 44, 162, 213, 

219, 270-271, 280, 330, 331, 349, 

353-355.358 

Low, Seth, i. 316 ; ii. 234, 262-263 
Lowe, D. F. (of Heriots'), i. 317 
Lowell, James Russell (U.S. Am- 
bassador), i. 321 
Lowne, C. M., i. 325 
Lowne, E. Y., i. 323 
Lucas, Seymour, R.A., i. 114-115, 

3i8 
Lucy, H. W. (" Toby, M.P. "), i. 

324 

Lupton, Mr. (Ex-Mayor of Brad- 
ford), ii. 360 
Lyceum Audience, i. 73-75, 285- 

286 

Productions, i. 70-71 
Storage, Burning of the, ii. 297- 
303 



Lyceum Theatre, Irving's first 
season i. 72-82; Hospitalities, i. 
310-342, Irving's last recep- 
tion, 333-342; ii. 161-162, 313; 
Enlarged and improved 311; Cash 
takings, 312 

Lyceum Theatre Company, i. 70, 
71, 268 ; ii. 315-320, 325-326, 

331-335. 342 
Lyell, J. L., i. 323 
Lyon, Major, i. 317 
Lyons Mail, The, i. 134-138 ; ii. 

21, 301, 302, 348 
Lytton, Earl of (Owen Meredith), 

i. 320 

MACARTNEY, Sir Haliday, i. 78 
Macbeth, i. 12, 107-113 ; ii. 300, 302 
Macbeth," " The character of, ii. 

257-258, 262-263, 265 
McCarthy, Justin, M.P., i. 318 
McCarthy, Justin Huntly, i. 325 
McClure, Col., i. 323 
McConnell, Judge, i. 315 
McCormick, Robert Sanderson (U.S. 

Ambassador), i. 319 
McCullough, John, i. 90, 316 ; ii. 

152, 153 

Macdona, J. C., M.P., i. 320 
Macdonald, Gen. Sir H., i. 322 
McDowell, James, ii. 223-224, 228 
McHenry, James, i. 8, 9, 318, 358 ; 

ii. 40-41 

Mcllvaine, C. W., i. 315 
Mackail, Mrs. (Miss Burne- Jones), 

i. 318 ; ii. 75 
Mackail, J. W., i. 318 
Mackay, John, i. 323 
Mackellar, Duncan, i. 322 
McKelway, St. Clair, i. 317 
McKenna, Theodore, i. 325 
Mackenzie, Sir Alexander C., i. 323 ; 

ii. 140, 146 

Mackenzie, Sir James, ii. 241 
Mackenzie, Sir Morell, i. 316 ; ii. 146 
McKinley, Wm. (President U.S.A.), 

ii. 230-233 
Maclaren, Ian, ii. 8 
McMichael, Clayton, ii. 229 
McMichael, Morton, i. 318 
McMichael, Walter, i. 317 
MacMillan, Fredk., i. 317 
McNally, John, i. 318 
MacQuoid, Katherine S., 1.^326 
MacQuoid, Thomas, i. 326 
Macready, i. 138, 281 ; Relics of, 

ii. 66, 181 

Macready, Miss, ii. 44 
McVeagh, Wayne (Attorney- 
General, U.S.A.),i. 320; ii. 232-233 



INDEX 



381 



Madame Sans-GSne, i. 259-265 ; ii. 

326 

Madden, Judge, i. 324 
Mahan, Capt. (U.S. Navy), i. 327- 

33i 
Mahomed Aslam Khan, Lieut. - 

Colonel Nawab, i. 339 
Mahomet, ii. 118-121 
Mail, The (Dublin), i. 13 
Major, Charles, i. 316, 324 
" Make-up," i. 139-140 
Management : 

Responsibility and difficulties, 

i. 61-63, 149-152, 185 
Public pulse, i. 189-193 
Hazard of, i. 275 
Rain of plays, ii. 131-138 
Finance, i. 62-63 ; " 304-320 
Manchester, Art Club, ii. 344 
Manchester, Theatre Royal, 1860, i. 

86-87 
Manchester, Victoria University of, 

i. 108 ; ii. 257-258 
Manchester, Dean of, i. 319 
Manchester, Duchess of, i. 318 
Manchester, Duke of, i. 91 
Manchester Guardian, ii. 307 
Mancinelli, i. 320 
Mandeville, Lord, see Manchester, 

Duke of 

Mansfield, Richard, i. 316, 358 
Mansfield, Mrs. Richard, i. 316 
Mapes, Victor, i. 324 
Marbury, Miss Elizabeth, i. 268, 

271. 317 

Margetson, Mr. and Mrs., i. 315 

Marion, W., ii. 274 

Marius, ii. 166 

Marlow, Julia, i. 317 

Marlow, Young, i. 6-7 

Marquand, John P., i. 323 

Marquette, ss., ii. 289, 290 

Marryat, Capt., i. 296 

Marshall, Frank A., i. 42, 83, 322 ; 
ii. 128, 133-137 

Marshall, Mrs. Frank A. (Ada Caven- 
dish), i. 322 

Marshall, Dr. John, i. 325 

Marston, Edward, i. 369 

Martin, Bradley, i. 321 

Martin, Carlaw, i. 521 

Martin, Lady (" Helen Faucit "), i. 
325 

Martin, Sir Theodore, i. 325 

Massingham, H. W., i. 315 

Mathew, Rt. Hon. Lord Justice, 
i. 320 

Mathews, C. W., i. 278, 322 

Mat hews, Chas., i. 277-279 

Mathews, Mrs. Chas., i. 278, 324 



Mathews, Prof. Brander, ii. 234 

Matthews, Mrs. Frank, i. 7 

Matthison, Arthur, i. 170 

Maude, Cyril, i. 325 

Maung On Gaing, i. 339 

Maunsell, Dr., i. 13 

Maurel, Victor, i. 323 ; ii. 160 

Maxwell, Gerald, i. 326 

Maxwell, W. B., i. 326 

May, Phil, i. 317 

Mayer, Gaston, i. 325 

Mayer, M. L., i. 317 ; ii. 157-159 

Mead, Tom, i. 135-137 

Medicine Man, The, i. 71, 266 

Meherban Ganpatrao Madhavrao 

Vinchwikar, i. 339 
Meiningen Company, The, ii. 151- 

154 

Meissonier, J. L. E., ii. 72 
Mellor, Col., M.P., i. 315 
Meltzer, J. H., i. 324 
Mempes, Mortimer, i. 316 
Mensdorff, Count Albert, i. 316 
Mephisto, ii. 137 
Merchant of Venice, The, i. 82-86 ; 

as in Shakespeare's time, 293 ; ii. 

203, 296, 300, 327 
Merivale, Herman, i. 185-189, 324 ; 

ii. 174 
Merrill, General Louis (U.S.A.), i. 

3 2 3 

Merritt, Genl. Wesley (U.S.A.), i. 320 
Metcalfe, J. S., i. 318 
Methven, James, i. 321 
Meysey-Thompson, Sir Henry, ii. 34 
Michie, Col. Peter (U.S.A.), i. 291- 

292, 322 

Midian Gold Mines, i. 357 
Milburn, Dr. (Chaplain, American 

Senate), ii. 9 

Miles, General (U.S.A.), i. 317 
Millet, Frank D., i. 323 
Milner, Rt. Hon. Sir Fred., Bart., i. 

320 

Mimra, Capt., i. 316, 331-332 
Minnehaha, ss., ii. 292 
Minton, Maurice, i. 320 
Miranda, Count, ii. 176 
Mitchell, Langdon, i. 320 
Molloy, Fitzgerald, i. 315 
Monckton, Lady, i. 317 
Monckton, Sir John, i. 317 
Montague, H. J., i. 7 
Montgomery, Col. (U.S.A.), ii. 251 
Montgomery, Lien t. (U.S.A.), 1.322 
Moore, Ernest, i. 315 
Moore, F. Frankfort, i. 322 
Moore, Mary, i. 318 
Moreau, Emile, i. 271-273, 321 ; ii. 

33 



382 



INDEX 



Morris, Lord, i. 319 
Morritt, Miss Greta, i. 316 
Morrow, Judge, i. 323 
Morse, Prof., ii. 234 
Mortimer, James, i. 326 
Moscheles, Felix, i. 319 
Mouillot, Fred., i. 321 
Mounet, Jean Paul, i. 318 
Mounet-Sully, i. 155, 323 ; ii. 163 
Much Ado about Nothing, i. 100-106, 

193 ; ii. 198-199, 300 
Mudie, Andrew, i. 322 
Muhamad Faiyaz Ali Khan, Nawab, 

i- 339 

Mullen, Mr., i. 353 
Miiller, Rt. Hon. Frederick Max, ii. 

146, 252 

Muncacksy, Madame, ii. 146 
" Municipal Theatres," ii. 264 
Munro, David A., i. 323 
Murray, Dr. A. S., i. 205, 206-207 
Murray, David, R.A., i. 320 
Murray, Gaston, i. 7 
Musicians, ii. 140-150 
Myers, Frederick, i. 325 ; ii. 248- 

249 

Nance Oldfield, i. 194-196 

Nansen, Dr., i. 319 

Napier, Lord, i. 294 

Narjac, Countess, i. 322 

Nast, Thomas, i. 326, 329 

Nazro, Commander (U.S.A.), i. 319 

Nerval, Lucien de, i. 17 

Nesper, i. 320 

Nettleship, Mrs., i. 319 

Nevada, Emma, i. 315 

Nevill, Lady Dorothy, i. 323 

New, Col. John C. (U.S.A.), i. 

324 

New Haven : Dante, i. 274 
Newman, Dr. David, i. 318 
Newton, H. Chance, i. 324 
New Way to Pay Old Debts, A, i. 

87 ; ii. 90 
New York: Faust, i. 184; Dante, 

274 

Goethe Societ)', ii. 264 
New York Tribune, i. 289 ; ii. 259- 

260 

Nihilists, ii. 48-49, 51-52, 53-58 
Nilsson, Christine, ii. 176-177 
Nineteenth Century, The, i. 44-47 ; 

ii. 32 

Norman, Henry, M.P., i. 316 
Normand, Jacques, i. 154, 319 
North, Col., i. 323 
Northbrook, Earl of, ii. 27 
Northcliff, Lord, i. 320 
Northcott, John, i. 317 



OBER-AMMERGAU Play, ii. 253 
Ochiltree, Col. Tom (U.S.A.), i. 325 ; 

ii. 1 66 

O'Connor, T. P., M.P., i. 319 
Ogilvie, Stuart, i. 323 
Olivia, i. 145 ; ii. 301, 302, 325 
Only Way, The, ii. 328 
Onslow, Earl of, i. 324 
Orchardson, W. Q., R.A., i. 324 
O'Rell, Max, i. 324 
Orrock, James, R.I., i. 315 
Osborne, General (U.S.A.), i. 316 
Osgood, James R., i. 325 
Othello, i. 12, 42, 86-89 I " 3 
Otis, C. A.,i. 318 
Owens College, see Manchester, 

Victoria University of, 
Oxford University, An Address at, 

ii. 252-257 

PADEREWSKI, i. 315 ; ii. 141-142 

Padgett, W., i. 318 

Page, Thomas Nelson, i. 322 ; ii. 232, 

233 

Palliser, Esther, i. 322 
Palmer, A. M., i. 322 
Palmer, Edmund Henry, i. 318 
Palmer, Sir Walter, Bart., i. 316 
Panglima Kinta, The Datoh, i. 339 
Paradox of Acting, i. 48-49 ; ii. 

18-19 
Paris, i. 95 
Parke, Dr., i. 369 
Parker, Louis N., i. 325 
Parker, Sir Gilbert, i. 318 
Parkinson, J. C., i. 319 
Parnell, Chas. Stewart, ii. 27, 31 
Parry, Judge, i. 324 
Parsons, Alfred, A.R.A., i. 325 
Parsons, W. B., i. 322 
Partridge, J. Bernard, i. 317 ; ii. 

86-88 

Partridge, W. Ordway, i. 316 
Patti, i. 316 

Pauline ; or, A Night of Terror, i. 17 
Pauncefote, Lord, ii. 232-233 
Pawling, Sydney S., i. 325 
Pearce, Sir William, Bart., i. 324 ; 

". 43-52 

Pearce, Sir Wm. Geo., Bart., ii. 44 
Peixotto, i. 316 
Pellegrini, Carlo, i. 325 
Pemberton, Edgar, i. 316 
Penberthy, Capt. Isaac, i. 103 
Penberthy, John, i. 102-103, I2 S 
Pencoast, A., i. 321 
Perak, The Sultan of, i. 339 
Perkins, i. no 
Perry, E. A., i. 320 
Perry Bar Institute, ii. 264 



INDEX 



383 



Perugini, Mr., i. 317 

Peter the Great, i. 265 

Petrie, J. N., i. 320 

Pettie, John, R.A., i. 324 

Phelps, E. J. (U.S. Ambassador), i. 

322 
Philadelphia : Faust, i. 184 ; Dante, 

274 

Contemporary Club, ii. 265 
Philip, i. 12 

Phister, Montgomery, i. 315 
Pigott, E. F. S., i. 316 
Pinches, E. E., i. 322 
Pinero, A. W., i. 164, 324 ; ii. 138- 

139 
Pirbright, Lord (Baron de Worms), 

i- 317 

Pirrie, Lord, i. 324 
Pitou, Augustus, i. 317 
Pittsburgh, i. 309 
Playfair, Dr., i. 324 
Plays : difficulties of obtaining, ii. 

131-132 ; sources of, 132 ; 

bought but not produced, 132- 

137 

Plowden, A. C., ii. 87 
Plymouth, ii. 347 
Poland, Sir Harry, i. 316 
Politics in the theatre, i. 138-139 
Pollock, Lady, i. 319 
Pollock, Sir Frederick, Bart., i. 319 
Pollock, Walter Herries, i. 48-49, 

319; ii. 19, 137 
Polo, Marco, i. 371 
Ponsonby, Sir Henry, ii. 214, 216- 

221 
Ponsonby-Fane, The Hon. Sir S., 

i. 315 ; ii. 275-276 
Popoff, Admiral (Russian Navy), ii. 

48 

Porel, M., i. 325 
Porter, H.E. General Horace 

(U.S.A.), i. 235, 317 ; ii. 104 
Porteus, Dr., i. 324 
Potter, Flag-Lieut. (U.S.A.), i. 326 
Potter, Cora Urquhart (Mrs. Brown 

Potter), i. 322 

Praed, Mrs. Campbell, i. 325 
Price, Prof., ii. 234 
Priestly, Mr. (Mayor of Bradford), 

ii. 352 
Primrose, Sir John Ure, Bart., i. 

322 

Princess's Theatre, i. 87-88 
Princeton University, ii. 264 
Prinsep, Val, R.A., i. 324 
Pritchard, Hesketh, ii. 137 
Pritchard, K., ii. 137 
Probyn, Genl. Sir Dighton, V.C., i. 

317 ; 363 



Proctor, Joseph, i. 317 
Prodigal Son, The, ii. 1 30 
Professor's Love Story, The, ii. 137- 

138 

Pryde, Dr., i. 324 
Pullman, Geo.. i, 318; ii. 264 
Pullman, Mrs., i. 318 
Purrington, W. A., i. 316 

QUAIN, Sir Richard, Bart., i. 322 

8ueen Mary, i. 12, 152, 197 
ueen Victoria's Jubilee (1887), i. 

333 

Queen's Theatre, i. 280 ; ii. 191 
Quin Memorial, ii. 347 

RADNOR, Earl of, i. 324 
Raising the Wind, ii. 301 
Raleigh, Mr. and Mrs. Cecil, i. 326 
Ralph, Julian, i. 326 
Ramaswami Mudaliyar, Sir Savalai, 

Raja, i. 339 
Randegger, i. 317 
Ravenswood, i. 185-193 ; ii. 301, 

302 

Raymond, John T., i. 326 
Reade, Chas., i. 134 
" Rede " Lecture, Cambridge, ii. 

247-248 

Redford, G. A., i. 316 
Reed, T. (Speaker, U.S.A.), i. 320 
Reeves, Sims, i. 319 
Reform Club, i. 343 
Rehan, Ada, i. 322 
Reid, Sir Wemyss, i. 316 
Reid, Thomas, i. 324 
Reid, H. E. Whitelaw (U.S. Am- 
bassador) i. 91, 319 
Rejane, i. 322 
Remsen, Professor, i. 321 
Renan, Ernest, ii. 114 
Renaud, ii. 140 
Revue Illustrte, ii. 158 
Reynolds, T., i. 326 
Rhoades, J. H., i. 325 
Ribblesdale, Earl of, i. 325 
Ricarde-Seaver, Major, i. 192, 324, 

329 ; ii. 160 
Richard II., ii. 79-85 
Richard III., i. 42, 44, 49, 124126 ; 

ii. 81, 301, 322-325 
Richards, Frank, i. 320 
Richardson, H. H., i. 320 
Richelieu, i. 12, 128-130 ; ii. 301 
Richmond, Sir David, Bart., i. 322 
Richter, Hans, ii. 144-145 
Rideing, W. H., i. 320 
Rienzi, ii. 137 
Riggs, Mrs. (Kate Douglas Wiggin), 

i. 320 



3 8 4 



INDEX 



Riley, J. Whitcomb, i. 318 ; ii. 

112-113, I 6 
Ripon, Bishop of, see Boyd-Car- 

penter 

Ristori, Madame, ii. 169-170 
Ritchie, Mrs. Richmond (Miss 

Thackeray), i. 317 
Ritchie, Richmond, i. 317 
Ritchie, Sir James, i. 322 
Rivals, The, i. I, 3-7 
Rival towns, i. 345 
Rives, G. L., i. 320 
Riviere, Henri, i. 320 
Road to Ruin, The* i. 5-7 
Robert Emmett, i. 83 ; ii. 132-136 
Robert Macaire, ii. 301 
Robertson, Graham, i. 321 
Robespierre, i. 268-271 ; ii. 330 
Robin Hood, i. 211 
Robinson, Dean Armitage, ii. 361- 

362 

Robinson, Professor, i. 321 
Robinson, Sir John R., i. 325 
Robinson, Sir William, i. 315 
Rockman, Ray, i. 321 
Rogers, Frederick, ii. 55 
Romeo and Juliet, i. 87, 93-100 
Roose, Dr. Robson, i. 321 
Roosevelt, Theodore (President, 

U.S.A.), ii. 233-237 
Root, Elihu (Sect, of State, U.S.A.), 

i. 323 ; ii. 232 
Rosa, Carl, i. 322 
Rosebery, Earl of, ii. 238, 327 
Ross, C. H., i. 325 
Ross, Callender, i. 320 
Rossetti, Wm. Michael, ii. 93 
Rothschild, Alfred de, i. 320 
Routledge, Edmund, i. 318 
Rowe, Mrs. Jopling, i. 325 
Royal Academy Banquet, i. 314 
College of Music, i. 173-174 ; 

ii. 245 

Institution, ii. 241, 242, 247,265 
Russell, Judge (N.Y.), i. 321 
Russell, Charles, i. 320 
Russell, Henry, i. 279 
Russell, of Killowen, Lord, L.C. J., i. 

322 
Russell, Sir Edward R., i. 26, 315; ii. 

365 

Russell, Sir W. H., i. 317 
Russia, Czar Alexander II. of, ii. 

48-52 
Russia, Grand Duke Nicholas of, ii. 

49-50 

ST. ALBANS, Duchess of, i. 318, 369 
St. Gaudens, Augustus, i. 322 ; ii. 
108-109 



St. Helier, Lord and Lady (Sir F. 

and Lady Jeune), i. 320 
St. James's Company, i. 1-7 
St. James's Hall, i. 327 
St. James's Theatre, i. 175, 278, 

280, 281 

St. John, Sir Spencer, i. 319 
Sala, George Augustus, i. 91, 324, 

362 ; ii. 153 
Salvini, i. 316 
Salvini, Alexander, i. 315 
Sambourne, Linley, i. 325 
Sandhurst, Lord, i. 324 
Sandringham, 1889, ii, 212-215 ; 

1902, 222-228 
Santley, Charles, i. 315 
Sarasate, i. 316 
Sarcy, Francisque, i. 154, 316 
Sardou, Victorien, i. 268, 271-273 ; 

ii. 330 

Sargent, John, R.A., i. 324 ; ii. 80 
Saviolo, ii. 137 
Saunders, John, i. 249 
Saxby, Howard, i. 322 
Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Grand Duke 

of, ii. 155 
Saxe-Meinengen, H.S.H. Grand 

Duke of, i. 320 ; ii. 154-156 
Saxe-Weimar, Prince Edward of 

i. 324 
Scenery, accidents from falling, ii. 

293-296 

Schley, Admiral (U.S.A.), i. 323 
Schmalz, Herbert, i. 326 
Schneider, Mdlle, ii. 175 
School for Scandal, The, i. 5-7 
School of Reform, i. 175 
Schroeder, Admiral (German Navy), 

i. 320 

Schuldig, ii. 137 
Schwab, G. H., i. 321 
Scoones, W. B., i. 320 
Scott, Clement, i. 319, 362 ; ii. 19, 

324 

Scotter, Sir Charles, i. 315 
Scott-Gatty, Alfred, i. 325 
Seattle, i. 345 
Seddon, Rt. Hon. Richard, i. 340- 

34i 

Sedelia Rab, The Datoh, i. 339 
Seton, Sir Bruce, Bart., i. 323 
Seymour, Admiral Sir Edward, ii. 

347 

" Shakespeare and Bacon," ii. 264 
" Shakespeare and Goethe," ii. 264 
" Shakespeare as a Playwright," ii. 

264 

Shakespeare's Plays, i. 75-126 
Shaw, Edward J., i. 316 
Shaw, George F., i. 323 



INDEX 



385 



Shea, Judge (New York), i. 316 

Sheffield, ".352 

Sheppard, J. W., ii. 357, 359 

Sherlock Holmes, ii. 316 

Sherman, General (U.S.A.), i. 323 

Sherwood, Mrs., i. 324 

She Stoops to Conquer, i. 5-7 

Shelton, George, i. 326 

Siam, H.R.H. The Crown Prince of, 

i- 339 

Silent Voices, The, i. 241 

Simmons, J. G., i. 323 

Simpson, Palgrave, ii. 172 

Sinclair, Archdeacon, i. 319 

Sinclair, Col., i. 323 

Skelmersdale, Lord, i. 321 

Sketchley, Arthur, i. 353 

Skipsey, Joseph, i. 319 

Smalley, G. W., i. 317 

Smiles, Samuel, i. 321 

Smith, Ballard, i. 324 

Smith, C. Stewart, i. 316 

Smith, Chas. Emery (U.S.A.), ii. 232 

Smith, Pamela Colman, i. 326 

Smith, Sir Charles Euan, i. 321 ; ii. 
140 

Smithsonian Institute, ii. 109 

Snake's Pass, The, ii. 27-29 

Snape, W., i. 320 

Sorley, Baillie, i. 316 

Soulsby, Sir W. J., i. 320 

Sprague, H. W., i. 322 

Springfield : Dante, i. 274 

Stage," " The, ii. 264 

Stage Art, Philosophy of : 
Key-stone, ii. 1-3 
Scientific process, ii. 3-6 
Character, ii. 6-14 
The play, ii. 14-15 
Stage perspective, ii. 16-18 
Dual consciousness, i. 149, 265 ; 

ii. 1 8-2 1, 296 
Individuality, ii. 22 
Beauty, the aim of Art, ii. 23 
Summary, ii. 24-25 
Ellen Terry, ii. 196-203 

Stage as it is," " The, ii. 264 

Stagecraft : 

Macbeth, i. 23-24 
Hamlet, i. 76 

Lessons in illusion, i. 1 14-1 16 
Stage jewellery, i. 115-116 
Richard III., 125-126 
A marching army, i. 157-158 
Some great sets, i. 159-161 
Stage snow, i. 161 
A stage supper, i. 171-172 
Application of Science, i. 176 
Stage fire, i. 176-177 
Steam and mist, i. 177 
II 



Stagecraft (continued) 

Division of stage labour, i. 177- 

178 
A " ladder " of angels, i. 180- 

182 
Stage perspective, i. 205-206, 

261-263 

Gamma's dress, i. 207 
Limelight and electric light, 

i. 302 

Stage Manager, Irving a, i. 3 
Stanford, H. B., i. 326 
Stanford, Sir Chas. Villiers, i. 223, 

232, 321 ; ii. 140 
Stanlaws, Penrhyn, ii. 137 
Stanley, Sir Henry M., i. 323, 362- 

370 
Stannard, Mrs. (John Strange 

Winter), i. 319 
Stanwood, F. M., i. 319 
State Subsidy for theatres, ii. 153- 
154. 163, 313 

Statue of Irving as Hamlet, ii. 61-62 
Stavenhagen, ii. 146-147 
Steel, Mrs., ii. 138 
Stepniak, S., ii. 53-58 
Sterling, Antoinette, i. 321 ; ii. 148 
Sterner, Albert, i. 319 
Stirling, Arthur, i. 324 
Stirling, Mrs. (Lady Gregory), i. 315 
Stock Companies, i. i 
Stoker, Abraham, i. 20 
Stoker, Bram : 

Earliest recollections of Irving, 

1867, V 1-7 
Friendship with Irving, i. 25- 

34. 60 

Coming events, i. 53-54 
Joins Irving, i. 60-61 
A Triton amongst minnows, 

i. 165-166 
and Tennyson, i. 201-202, 

215-221, 224-239 
An angry reporter, i. 301-302 
A visit to the Chicago, i. 328- 

33i 
" England and Japan ! " i. 

331-332 

Walt Whitman, ii. 92-111 
First meets Ellen Terry, ii. 190- 

191 

Their friendship, ii. 206-207 
living's last words to, ii. 357 
Stoker. Dr. Geo., C.M.G., i. 97-98, 

323.357 

Stoker, Sir Thornley, i. 58, 60, 321 
Stoker, T., C.S.I., i. 322 
Stone, Marcus, R.A., i. 320 
Stone, Melville, i. 317 
Storms at Sea, ii. 289-293 
2B 



3 86 



INDEX 



Story, Principal, of Glasgow Uni- 
versity, i. 315 ; ii. 250-252 
Story, Samuel, M.P., i. 323 
Story of Waterloo, A, see Waterloo 
Stoyle, J. D., i. 170 
Straggler of '15, A, see Waterloo 
Straight, Sir Douglas, i. 323 
Stranger, The, i. 83 
Stratford-on-Avon, ii. 127-128 
Strathcona, Lord, i. 325 
Students : 

Irving's carriage dragged by, 

i. 40 ; " chaired," i. 43-44 
Seized and carried by, ii. 246 ; 
Wild enthusiasm, 258 
As supers a challenge, ii. 261- 

262 

Sunderland, Lyceum Theatre ; 
Irving's first appearance on the 
stage, i. 129 ; Farewell visit, ii. 

345-347 

Sullivan, Barry, i. 20-24 
Sullivan, Sir Arthur, i. 111-113, 3 2 4 
Sullivan, T. Russell, i. 325 
Supers, i. 98-99, 157-158, 171; ii. 

261 

Surface, Joseph, i. 6-7 
Sutherland, Duke and Duchess of, 

i. 322 

Swan, John, R.A., i. 321 
Swansea, farewell visit, ii. 345 

TABER, Robert, i. 266, 316 

Tacoma, i. 345 

Tagore, Maharaja Kunwar, i. 389 

Tailer, W. H., i. 325, 369 

Tait, Lawson, i. 325 

Talbot de Malahide, Lord, i. 351 

Talma, ii. 18-20 

Tamagno, i. 325 

Tarkington, Booth, i. 324 

Taylor, Goodenough, i. 318 

Tayor, Tom, i. 316 

Teazle, Lady, i. 6 

Teck, H.R.H. Duchess of, i. 311 

Teck, H.S.H. Duke of, i. 311 

Teck, Princess May of, see Wales, 

Princess May of, 
Telbin, W., i. 86, 94, 180-181, 205, 

326 

Teller, Leopold, i. 319 ; ii. 153 
Templar, Col., i. 320 
Temple, Archbishop, i. 200 
Tennant, F., i. 326 
Tennant, Mrs., i. 326 
Tenniel, Sir John, i. 317 
Tennyson, Lady (Alfred), i. 214, 

233, 241, 321 ; ii. 220 
Tennyson, Lady (Hallam), i. 219, 
233 ; ii. 220 



Tennyson, Alfred Lord, i. 49 ; His 

plays, i. 197-246 ; on Irving's 

Hamlet, 201 ; " Irving will do 

me justice," 241 ; Death burial 

in the Abbey, 240-241, 321 ; 

Walt Whitman, ii. 98-100 

Tennyson, Hallam, Lord, i. 214, 

220, 223, 224, 228, 233, 234, 236 

Tennyson, Lionel, i. 233 

Terriss, William, i. 15, 120; ii. 153, 

220 

Terry, Edward, i. 318 
Terry, Ellen : 

Note. See also under various 

plays 

Under John Hare's Manage- 
ment, i. 145 

As a Dramatist, i. 194-196 
On the Lady Torfrida mo- 
therhood, ii. 44-47 
Stepniak on, ii. 57 
A prime consideration in 
Irving's arrangements, ii. 
69-70, 191-193, 197-199 
Frightened by a monkey, ii. 

127 
Early playing with Irving, ii. 

191 
Knighting an Attorney-General, 

ii. 192-193 

A generous player, ii. 193-194 
Her Ophelia, ii. 195 
Real flowers, ii. 195-196 
Her Art, ii. 196-203 
Last performance with Irving, 

ii. 203 

Separation, ii. 203 
Comradeship, ii. 203-205 
Dublin, 1894, ii. 208-211 
At Sandringham and Wind- 
sor, ii. 212-222 

Terry, Mr. and Mrs. Fred., i. 319 
Terry, Marion, i. 323 
Thaddeus, Mr. and Mrs., i. 318 
Thesiger, Gen. Hon. C., i. 317 
Theatre, The, ii. 19 
Theatre Francais, see Comedie- 

Francaise 
Theatre in its relation to the State," 

" The, ii. 247-248 
Thomas, Brandon, i. 325 
Thomas, Moy, i. 320 
Thompson, Superintendent, ii. 296 
Thompson, Alfred, i. 94 
Thompson, Sir Henry, i. 322 
Thompson, Slason, i. 323 
Thomson, Frank, i. 318 
Thomson, Sir Wm., C.B., i. 315 
Thorne, Thomas, i. 315 
Threlfall, T., i. 323 



INDEX 



387 



Tilghman, B., i. 317 

Todhunter, Dr., i. 326 

Toole, J. L., i. 17, 91, 173, 317, 329, 
358, 362; ii. 53, 138, 140, 142, 
153. iSa- 1 ^. 158; lifelong 
friendship with Irving, 177-189 

Tosti, i. 317 

Tower, H. E. Charlemagne (U.S. 
Ambassador), i. 319 

Traill, H. D., i. 266, 323, 362 

Train accidents, ii. 285-288 

Tree, Herbert Beerbohm, i. 321 

Tree, Mrs. Beerbohm, i. 321 

Trelawny, i. 353 

Tristan, i. 131 

Trower, Seymour, i. 324 

Truax, Judge (N.Y.), i. 315 

Tseng, The Marquis, i. 78-79 

Tucker, W. W., i. 91 

Turnbull, Mr., ii. 223 

Twain," " Mark (S. L. Clemens), i. 
324 ; ii. 1 66 

Twelfth Night, ii. 300 

Two Roses, i. 7-11 ; ii. 301 

Tyars, Frank, i. 86, 319, 326 

Tybalt, i. 95 

Tyrrell, Prof. R. Y., i. 322 

Tyson, Mrs., i. 316 

UNIVERSITIES : 

Cambridge, i. 241 ; ii. 247-248 

Chicago, ii. 263 

Columbia, ii. 262-263 

Dublin, i. 35-41,42-44; ii. 244 

Glasgow, ii. 250-252 

Harvard, ii. 258-262 

Manchester, i. 108 ; ii. 257-258 

Oxford, ii. 252-257 

Princeton, ii. 264 

United States Military Academy, 
see West Point 

Presidents of, 299-237 

VALENTINE, Sydney, i. 325 

Value of Individuality," " The, ii. 

260-261 
Vambery, Arminius, i. 321, 371- 

372 

Van Aucken, Mrs., i. 324 
Vanbrugh, Irene (Mrs. Boucicault), 

i. 325 
Vanbrugh, Violet (Mrs. Arthur 

Bourchier), i. 323 ; ii. 227 
Vandenhoff, i. 276 
Vanderbilt, W. H., ii. 72 
Vanderdecken, i. 55-57 
Vanderpoel, Judge, i. 316 
Van Home, Sir Wm., i. 318 
Van Tellen, Mrs., i. 355 
Van Wart, Ames, i. 324 



Vaudeville Company, i. 7-11 

Vaudeville Theatre, i. 9 

Vaughan, Benjamin, M.P., i. 269 

Vaughan, Cardinal, ii. 265 

Vestal, The, ii. 137 

Vezin, Hermann, i. 119-120, 145, 
322 

Victoria, Queen, i. 179 ; 1889, 
Irving's first appearance before, 
ii. 212-215 ' I 93. 215-222, 238, 

243 

Villon, ii. 137 
Vincent, Mr., i. 16 
Volk, ii. 108-109 
Volunteers, The, i. 16 
Voss, Richard, ii. 137 

WAGNER, H. L., i. 319 

Waite, Alfred, i. 325 

Wales, Albert Edward, Prince of, 

see Edward VII. 
Wales, Prince George of, ii. 363 
Wales, Princess Alexandra of, see 

Alexandra, Queen 
Wales, Princess May of , i. 3 1 1 , 363 
Walker, Genl. Francis A. (U.S.A.), i. 

3i8 

Walker, Lord Chancellor, i. 315 
Walker, R. Stodart, i. 319 
Waller, Lewis, i. 322 
Wallis, Whitworth, i. 325 
Walrus, The yacht, i. 84 
Walsall Literary Institute, ii. 264 
Wandering Heir, The, ii. 202 
Ward, Col., ii. 171 
Ward, Edwin A., i. 315 
Ward, Geo., i. 287 
Ward, Miss Genevi&ve, i. 255, 314 ; 

ii. 167-176, 220 
Ward, Mrs., i. 318 
Ward, Mrs. Humphry, i. 324 
Wardell, Chas., ii. 190-191 
Warner, Charles, i. 326 
Warner, Chas. Dudley, i. 323 ; ii. 

234 

Warren, Arthur, {.321 
Warren, T. H. (President of Mag- 
dalen), ii. 252 
Warren, Wm., i. 317 
Warwick, Earl and Countess of, i. 

320 

Washington : Dante, 274 
Waterloo, i. 247-253 ; Sandringham, 

ii. 222-228 

Watkins, Archdeacon, i. 321 
Watson, Alfred E. T., i. 317 
Watson, Malcolm, i. 319 
Watterson, Henry, i. 321 
Webb, Harry, i. 15 
Webb, Miss Betty, i. 321 



388 



INDEX 



Webster, Ben., i. 317 
Webster, Mrs. Ben., i. 317 
Webster, Sir Richard, i. 227-228 
Weightman, R., i. 319 
Wellborn, i. 87 
Werner, ii. 301 

Westminster Abbey, i. 7 ; Tenny- 
son burial, 241 
Irving's burial, ii. 361-366 
West Point, U.S., Military Academy, 

i. 291-296 

Wharncliffe, Earl of, ii. 146 
Whistler, James McNeil, i. 151-152, 

322 

White, Sir Arnold, i. 204, 326 
White, Stanford, i. 323 
White House, Washington, ii. 231, 

233, 236 

Whiteside, James, i. 28 
Whitman, Walt, i. 214 ; ii. 92-111 
Whittier, C. A., i. 91 
Wicks, Frederick, i. 323 
Widener, Peter A. B., i. 316 
Wikoff, Chevalier, i. 8-n 
Wilberforce, Archdeacon, ii. 362 
Wiley, Major W. H., i. 318 
Wilkins, Miss Mary, ii. 138 
Willard, E. S., ii. 138 
Willard, Mrs. E. S., i. 319 
Williams, Montagu, Q.C., i. 316 
Williams, Talcott, i. 319 ; ii. 106 
Wills, Rev. Freeman, i. 319, 328 
Wills, W. G., i. 55, 255, 257, 326 ; 

ii- U7 

Wilson, Dr. Andrew, i. 324 : ii. 123 
Wilson, Francis, i. 315 
Winchilsea, Earl and Countess of. 
i. 326 



Winchester, i. 245-246 ; ii. 233 
Windsor Castle, ii. 215-222 
Windyer, Sir William' i. 324 
Wingneld, Hon. Lewis, i. 91 
Winslow, Forbes, i. 326 
Winter, William, i. 289-290, 319, 

358 ; ii. 259-260 
Winter's Tale, A,'\. 16 
Win ton, Gen. Sir F. de, i. 319 
Wise, John Sargent, i. 321 ; ii. 

230 

Wolf, Elsie de, i. 316 
Wolseley, F.M. Viscount, i. 321 
Wolverhampton, Irving's illness at, 

ii. 337-338, 347-349, 359 
Wolverhampton Literary and Scien- 
tific Institute, ii. 264 
Woodall, Wm., M.P., i. 317 
Worcester, Marquis of, i. 315 
Worms, i. 320 
Wortley, A. S., i. 321 
Wrestling match, A, i. 50-53 
Wright, James, ii. 223 
Wyllie, Sir Wm. Curzon, i. 335 
Wyncotes, Mr. (Mayor of Ply- 
mouth), ii. 347 
Wyndham, Fred., i. 323 
Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George, i. 318 
Wyndham, Sir Charles, i. 316 ; ii. 
160 

YATES, Edmund, i. 91, 315, 362, 

364 

Yerkes, Mr., i. 325 
Young, John Russell, i. 294, 322 
Yturbe, Signor, i. 317 

ZANGWILL, Israel, i. 31 



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